Is ‘fluggaenkoecchicebolsen’ a real word?


From Eurotrip, DreamWorks Pictures, 2004

From The New York Times:

When it happens I feel as if I have stepped into a Far Side cartoon. I am a magazine editor, and the galley of an article will come back from a proofreader with a low-frequency word circled and this comment in the margin: “Does this word even exist?” or “Is this a real word?”

Usually the word’s meaning is perfectly self-evident, and the word itself is relatively simple like “unbuyable,” if not deliberately goofy like “semi-idiotic-like.” And I think to myself, of course it exists. Look, there it is, right in front of us.

Sometimes the reader puts his or her suspicion differently and asks, “Is this word in the dictionary?” Having recently spent a large amount of time researching how a particularly well-known American dictionary was made, I have a very different notion of what a word’s presence, or even its absence, in a dictionary implies.

Don’t get me wrong: I like dictionaries, including several that I consult online and most of the 11 that are sitting within arm’s reach as I write this. But my recent affair with lexicography has left me certain of a couple of things.

One is that no dictionary contains every word in the language.

Another is that dictionary users and dictionary makers sometimes have very different notions of what a dictionary is for.

From Eurotrip, DreamWorks Pictures, 2004

“The Role of a Dictionary”, David Skinner, The New York Times