The Simpsons Create Hilarious New Language

13 Words for “Learnding”

The Simpsons have never been ones to play by the rules, and the same goes for their loose approach to the English language. From mispronunciations to portmanteaus to just plain made-up nonsense, here are our favorite coinings from Homer and co.

Embiggen

Springfield founder Jebediah Springfield’s statue in the town square bears his most memorable quote: “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” So inspirational. The pioneer didn’t have just a figurative silver tongue, though, he had a literal one as well. He got his prosthetic tongue after losing his real one to a Turkish pirate in a grog house fight.

Cromulent

"Embiggen?" you ask, one eyebrow raised? Lisa Simpson’s 2nd grade teacher Ms. Hoover has your answer: "It’s a perfectly cromulent word." We think that cromulent, as a funner-to-say synonym for acceptable or fine, is a perfectly cromulent candidate for potentially embiggening the dictionary at some point.

Dickety

Most of the new words in The Simpsons don’t get called out as being new words. One exception is dickety, which Grandpa Simpson, in one of his rambling and dubious stories from his past, says they had to come up with after Kaiser Wilhelm stole the word twenty. “I chased that rascal to get it back,” Grandpa said, “but gave up after dickety-six miles.”

Glavin

The nerdy, Jerry Lewis-inspired Professor Frink uses glavin (pronounced glay-vin) as a catch-all word or exclamation whenever he gets a bit too excited: “Oh, sweet glavin!” “Good glavin, it’s on my shoe!” “Okay, just stay calm, Frinky. These babies will be in the stores while he’s still grappling with the pickle matrix! Goyvin glavin!” It’s sort of like how the Smurfs use smurf, only way less annoying.

Kwyjibo

This may be our favorite made-up word on The Simpsons. The family is playing a word board game and Bart, wanting to get the game over with, lays down all his tiles to spell kwyjibo. When Homer challenges him, Bart tells his dad (who had just happened to peel a banana), it’s "a big, dumb, balding North American ape, with no chin." ("And a short temper," Marge warns.)

Tomacco

When Homer takes up farming and accidentally cross-breeds a couple seeds, he calls his new tomato-on-the-outside, tobacco-on-the-inside plant a tomacco. Bart describes the tomacco’s taste as terrible but “smooth and mild, and refreshingly addictive,” while Ralph Wiggums thinks it “tastes like grandma.” Mmmm, tomacco.

Trabapoline

What’s better than a trampoline? A FREE trampoline! Homer gets so excited when he sees one listed in the newspaper that he can’t get the word out right. Trabapoline just bounces off the tongue so well, anybody who sees this episode has a hard time going back to calling it a trampoline.

Saxamaphone

Like trabapoline, saxamaphone is another one of those Homerisms that’s so melodious, it almost takes the place of the original in your brain. He comes up with this one while missing Lisa (when the kids get taken away and put in a foster home—that old comic chestnut!) and sees her saxophone on her bed. Not knowing how to play the instrument, Homer just puts his lips to the mouthpiece and forlornly sings “saxamaphone” to the tune of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Bonus eruptus

If you can’t afford a real doctor in Springfield, you go to Dr. Nick Rivera. In one of his most successful cases, Dr. Nick helps Grandpa Simpson when he’s itchy, has ants in his pants and feels discombobulated. Dr. Nick explains that Grandpa has bonus eruptus, “a terrible disorder where the skeleton tries to leap out the mouth and escape the body.” Fortunately, he’s able to treat Grandpa through ”trans-dental electromacide.” If you ever happen to be in Springfield and need Dr. Nick’s assistance, his number is 1-600-DOCTORB. “The B is for ‘Bargain!’”

Assal horizontology

Dr. Nick’s not only great if you’re on a budget, he’s also the go-to when you need a doctor with low scruples—like when Homer decides to become obese so he can work from home. Dr. Nick recommends a “slow, steady gorging process, combined with assal horizontology.” The quack’s advice does the trick, and Homer ends up topping 300 pounds. Thank goodness for that degree from Hollywood Upstairs Medical College!

Chocotastic

The other component to Dr. Nick’s weight gain program for “dangerously underweight individuals” like Homer is the neglected food groups: fats and sweets, the whipped group, the congealed group, the empty calorie group, and of course, the chocotastic! Kellogg’s actually later came out with a Frosted Chocotastic flavor of Pop Tarts. I’m sure Homer would eat that.

Unpossible

To be the dumbest person in Springfield is quite an achievement, but if anybody deserves the title, it’s Ralph Wiggum. The 2nd grader’s stupidity is our gain in that it has given us quotes such as "I’m learnding" and, in response to Lisa’s explanation that "Players play and managers manage," "Do alligators alligate?" Perhaps the most famous of the 2nd grader’s quotes though is, "Me fail English? That’s unpossible!" Is it unpossible that this one will make it into the dictionary some day?

D'oh!

This list wouldn’t be complete without Homer’s most famous word—or noise, rather. While d’oh was around before The Simpsons, Homer made it famous enough to get it into the dictionary. We define it as an interjection “used to express dismay when one has said or done something stupid, or when something has gone wrong.” The TV show writers just call it Homer’s “annoyed grunt.” Either way, it’s hard to imagine The Simpsons—or life—without it.

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