Parody words becoming serious words

As a linguistics student I could probably phrase this better, but gimme a break–I just finished my first linguistics class and it’s summer vacation! :smiley: (I’m celebrating by boning up on my Romero; tonight it’s Dawn of the Dead, 70s version.)

Anyway, in the ‘What constitutes ‘creepy’’ thread, someone said (paraphrased) “The [Burger] King is a great marketing idea! Creepy dude in a king costume waiting outside your window to give you a sammich? Awesome!”

That made me think: someday “sammich” may well be the standard, unmarked spelling. And that day will be awesome. My question is this: do we have any modern words that were once considered silly parodies, but are now the accepted spelling in the standard dialect?

Data from all languages are welcome!

Deleted accidental post in wrong thread - sorry

I predict that within 50 years, “the” will be spelled “teh.”

I don’t know what you mean by “parody word”. Presumably, most spoken uses of “sammich” are relatively irony-free, and if that ever gets to be the standard spelling, it will have been driven by this, not by any humorous orthographic affectations from those who don’t even actually pronounce it that way. No?

At any rate, though your OP seems to be limited to spellings, the best example I can think of for legitimization of a “parody word” is “cromulent”. I can well see “cromulent” being a perfectly cromulent word at some point in the near future. It’s just so damn useful; sure, there are near synonyms, but when you need the exact connotations, there’s nothing quite like it.

The deliberately “whacky” misspelling “oll korrect” has become an acceptable usage–in abbreviated form, of course–in all but the most formal of contexts.

MEBuckner, good call! I forgot all about that. (When I haven’t been reading the columns for a while, the armchair etymologist in me starts stuffing that “President from Oklahoma” nonsense back into my brain.)

There’s an argument to be made for that. And you’re probably right.

Good point.

Only one way to find out, right?

Lewis Carrol filled his poem “Jabberwocky” with many invented words such as ‘brillig’,‘slithy’, ‘gimble’ and so on, many of them probably “portmanteau words” (eg slithy=slither+slimy) which were a common fascination of Carrol’s

Of all seven verses and umpteen invented words, for some reason the word galumph , alone, has entered the language. I have no idea why.

(I originally thought that burble counted as well, but seems to think there are instances predating Carrol. And I’m not very convinced about the Jargon File definition in there either)

I’m pretty certain chortle should be on that list as well.

Dr. Seuss invented the word “nerd” for his book “If I Ran the Zoo” and it seems to have caught on. (Not that I’ve ever been accused of being one. Nope. Not me.)

speaking of nerds - the word Geek has moved from carnival slang to being pretty much a proudly accepted label for a particular subculture. I think there may be other carnie words that that happened to, but I can’t recall any others - maybe “easy mark”?

I am doing my best to popularize the use of the word “procrastitute”, to the best of my knowledge invented by Rudyard Kipling sometime in the late 1800s for his poem Soldier an’ Sailor Too

Well spotted! Yep, that too.

There is a probably apocryphal story which states that the word “quiz” was invented as a nonsense word to win a bet.

Insomuch as I’d ever thought about it, I’d always assumed that “quiz” was an abbreviation of “inquisition”, which would seem to make sense in terms of “quiz shows”, but that seems to be wide of the mark, as the word originally meant something like “an eccentric person”.

I dunno

At least two Pig Latin words are now common slang - ixnay (nix) and amscray (scram).

I suspect that “Okay” = “OK” would fit your criteria. Although there have been a lot of theories about its origins, my understanding is that it’s now widely accepted that it was one of a series of slang terms based upon humorous contractions of misspellings, a trend from the first half of the 19th century. “OK” is supposed to come from “Oll Korrect”, and is the only one of its brethren that survive from that epoch, and has made its way into everyday speech.

How about “druthers”? It’s commonly used, and is clearly still slang, but I’ll bet it’s in dictionaries. It’s clearly derived in a folksy way from “would rather”, and is jokey in its origin.

From Jabberwocky, I’d also include “vorpal”, which has become a common word in the fantasy/rpg community thanks to Monty Python.

“Strategery” has come to mean an obviously bad (but earnest) attempt at being clever, and abbreviates the concept of “too clever by half” quite well. If it outlives the current administration, I think it will have a long life, but it’s tied pretty strongly to GWB. If “okay” can make it, then so can “strategery”!

Lots of business and bureaucratic malapropisms are sticky, too – “submittal” (vice “submission”) and “agreeance” (vice “agreement”) pop up all the time within my particular circle.

mebbe so

“goodbye” and “howdy” might be, sort of…

“goodbye” being “god be with you” all mushed up
and “howdy” being “how do you do” also mushed up

not necessarily parody words, but words said sort of wrongly that ended up being rightly.