Dictionaut, no. 1

One of a series of unknown length, on an irregular schedule, of indeterminate usefulness.

I texted my wife and the word that came out was “altonym,” which isn’t really a word. (This is not the first time my iPhone has done this. Lionel has quite the reputation.) We bounced it back and forth and decided that if it was a word, it would mean something like a jargonized synonym—“alternate” and “nym.”

In the spirit of altonym, then, I present Dictionaut, exploring the halfway point between the idiomatic and the idiotic. This issue’s word:


Flipping through a dictionary to find only the profane, obscene, prurient, or vulgar.

Not all the words we uncover as dictionauts are going to be horrific puns. But some of them definitely will be.

Read next

Read previous
Overheard from the backseat

Strangers are friends I haven’t met yet. Drop me a line.