"My flabber was completely gasted." - Rating Pending
Question #72701 posted on 05/28/2013 10:10 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What's your favorite hapax legomenon on the Board? If you want, you can just link to the question rather than posting it here so you don't destroy it.

- Optimistic. (who knows where you sleep, YAYFULNESS)

A:

Dear Optimistic.,

I didn't have any off the top of my head, but I put together a little script and found 14,608 hapax legomena (words that only occur once in a given body of work) in the questions, responses, and comments posted on the Board as of May 24th, 2013. You can download the full list here. I filtered the results of my script by only including words found in a word list I already had, thus filtering out typos and gibberish and such. (Granted, the word list I was comparing against, which you can download in Board Question #58939, has nearly 270,000 words, so it contains some pretty esoteric words.)

I should note that the search engine on the Board may not always index questions in exactly the same way as I split them up, so you may find a few words that don't pull up search results. I randomly checked a couple dozen, though, and all of them returned one (and only one) result, so that's promising. (Some of the ones that showed up in the list were surprising, too!)

Here are a few of my favorites. To preserve them I'll post them backwards; you can flip them right-side around here. (I just realized that once this posts, the Board will have at least one brand-new hapax legomenon, unless another writer uses the word anemogel (reversed) in their answer.)

  • aibohpomhcia — A. A. Melyngoch has quite the vocabulary
  • sesonimativa — file this one under cool medical terms
  • sreldduc — I couldn't believe this has only been used once!
  • stsicinomrah — Claudio, it turns out this isn't a made-up word!
  • rafohs — my grandpa bought one of these when he went to Jerusalem, and I got to blow it

—Laser Jock

A:

Dear Optimistic.,

This one.

Bugbear. Carpetbagger.

-Genuine Article

A:

Dear Optimistic.,

According to the list, my favorite English word ever also happens to be a Board hapax legomenon: eergilif (backwards). I love that word.

-Owlet