Posts Tagged ‘language’.

INTRODUCING A NEW WORD: /stemp/ (n)


Flickr photo by Kiana Wilson

I want to share an email that I received last week, from Marksman Geoff S., regarding Panel 3 from Comic #978:

Dearest Mr. Malki !,

Oh my, I thought I read the word, “STEMP” and I had this epiphany that that was the real name for a pumpkin stem (or perhaps that of any gourd), all woody and cut to look like a tree stump, and that somehow I had lived over 40 years of my life without knowing that piece of trivia and I was MAD at life for not knowing it sooner because it made SO MUCH FRICKIN SENSE HOW DID I NEVER KNOW THAT A PUMPKIN STEM WAS CALLED A STEMP?

Anyway, then my eyes caught up with the pixels and I saw the question mark.

Thought you’d like to know. Please keep up the terrific work.

Well, Geoff, this is the best email I’ve received in at least a week. I posted it on Twitter and received this reply:


I immediately agreed, and knew at once that I should enlist the aid of my friend Erin McKean at Wordnik, which is a site that tracks definitions, unusual words, neologisms, and the ongoing march of language.

Not an hour later, this existed.

It has no citations or formal definitions yet, because as descriptive linguists know, a word isn’t real until people use it. So go out and “stemp!” (Also: stemp is not a verb.)