Tynsa irebä :: Channeling the Green Girl

{December 27, 2008}   it’s always something

For my Miresua conlang, I Google my constructed words, look them up in a Multilingual Dictionary, and search for them in a directory of cities and towns in the world. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve found that my made-up words mean a surprising number of things.

If I discover that a word means something rude in another language, I probably won’t use it. I have a list of Finnish curse words to avoid. If a word means something in Basque or Finnish, my source languages, I might modify it.

Languages need unflattering words, even conlang languages. Recently I defined that bad is GAIHA in Miresua. It was derived from the Basque word GAIZTO and the Finnish word PAHA. This was purposely an unusual letter combination. Google search found that Gaiha can be a last name in India. Even though my definitions are only for the Miresua conlang language, and have nothing to do whatsoever with people with this name, I felt uncomfortable about defining someone’s name as bad. Yet it was unfortunately unavoidable if I wanted to make a five-letter word that looked reasonably pronounceable. Nearly every combination of letters means something somewhere in the world.

Calling this word bad is a bit of a euphemism. It is bad as in evil or wicked. TXON is bad as in poor or rotten.


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