In an email I received today the word visitants jumped out at me. The email is from a someone keen to exchange links with Omniglot as apparently their site “could be a helpful resource for your visitants”. The email is from a German speaker, I think, who seems to have coined this word, or got it from somewhere. Have you come across this word before?

I like making up words and am interested in seeing words other people have made up. Recently I’ve been playing with variations on the word uke, an abbreviation of ukulele, and coined a couple of words for ukulele playing – to uke and to ukelise, as in “Will anybody else be ukeing/ukelising tonight?”

Have you coined any new words?

This entry was posted in English, Language.

14 Responses to Visitants

  1. Lev says:

    I once wrote the software for a psych experiment for my wife. English not being my native language, I didn’t know what to call the people who the experiment is conducted on. First I called them “rabbits” (they weren’t supposed to see any place where this word was written). Then I coined the word “testee”. Later it turned out that the usual term is “participant”.

    Also I’ve humorously coined the Russian word Междумордие to replace the existing loanword.

  2. Margaret says:

    Visitants are ghosts – the word exists. I like the idea of ghost visitors to your site!

  3. Lev says:

    While we’re there, “visitants” can also mean pilgrims.
    Maybe your site will host some sacred relics and attract some visitants.

  4. David Eger says:

    A ‘Musikant’ makes music so, logically, a ‘visitant’ makes visits – or visitations.

    An ‘organist’, on the other hand, ‘organises’ – the practice of doing which is called ‘organism’.

    A friend in Latvia, describing the fields in springtime, coined the perfectly logical and very pleasing word ‘flowerful’. Logical in two respecs in fact: firstly, it echoes ‘powerful’ and is formed on the same pattern as words like ‘harmful’, ‘peaceful’ etc.; secondly, because it is a direct translation of the Latvian ‘puķu pilns’ – ‘flower (plural genitive form) full’. The closest we have in English to a genitive plural noun ending is the singular form of the noun – ‘flower’ preceding another noun is equivalent to ‘of flowers’ after the noun.

  5. LandTortoise says:

    Not an invented word but what I believe is called a “calque” by linguists: on returning last week from France with a car boot full of bottles of wine, I told a friend I was coming to “discharge” the wine, genuinely influenced by the French “décharger,” to unload. I had just returned from three months of only speaking French and just couldn’t call up “unload” from my lexicon.

  6. markonsea says:

    “Visitant” interested me, because I have long played with “audient”, the singular (of course) of “audience”.

  7. David Eger says:

    Would ‘audient’ not be an adjective describing a member of an audience? ‘Audience’ could also mean the act or habit of listening. An ‘audiant’ would then be one who is audient (cf. dependent vs. dependant). ‘Inaudient’ describes a person who exhibits ‘inaudience’, or doesn’t listen.

  8. markonsea says:

    @david eger

    I was young, and I understood we were taking our place “among the audients”. Language has its own logic, and my own idiolect has its particular idiologic.

  9. janestheone says:

    “visitant” is a perfectly good English word, and appears in the OED. It means a ghost or supernatural being. Your German correspondent probably got it from a dictionary.

  10. Simon says:

    I’ve heard audiant used as the singular form of audience – a band talked about a gig at which there was only one person in the audience – that person was their audiant.

  11. Nicolas Straccia says:

    It might also be a linguistic interference with spanish, where ‘visitante’ is, in fact, ‘visitor’.

  12. Dan, ad nauseam says:

    Visitant, does, in fact, have several meanings, according to a search of several dictionaries. The oldest definition is essentially “visitor,” dating to the late 16th century.

  13. Jim Morrison says:

    Visitant means visitor (and visiting) in Catalan 🙂

  14. Andrew says:

    I like to talk about dealing with “administrivia”, or trivial matters concerning the administration or running of things. I don’t think the word has made its way into any official dictionaries yet, but I think lots of people use and/or understand it.

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