Top 12 words that don’t exist but are used

The French language has close to 100,000 words, and despite everything we persist in inventing (and using) new ones. It’s very nice, but the problem is that 1) these are French mistakes 2) it’s ugly, and 3) it’s useless since in general we invent words to replace others that already exist. Therefore, thank you in advance for removing these few words from your vocabulary (and that also applies to National Education and its invented words).

1. Nominate

Although they are very often used, the verb “to nominate” and its past participle “nominé” are considered unnecessary anglicisms from the English nominee. Messrs. the presenters of the Césars, we would therefore be grateful if you would no longer say “nominated” but “appointed”. Thank you.

top 12 words that don't exist but are used

2. Leak

We are dealing here with a good big neologism, in particular used by our fellow journalists to speak as an example of wiretaps or official documents. In truth, we can say that there was a leak, but we cannot say “my tampon leaked”.

3. Time-consuming

Created in the 20th century from the two Greek terms chrono- and -phage, chronophage does not exist in the French language. On the other hand, it is important to specify that, contrary to a lot of invented words, this one is useful since there are no others to designate what it means.

4. Apply

The candidate name designates a person, a status. We will therefore no more say “apply” than “lawyer” or “winner”. If you want to speak France, you would rather say “apply, be a candidate (to), run for or even apply”.

top 12 words that don't exist but are used

5. Abracadabrantesque

Made famous by our great friend Jacques Chirac, the term is a neologism coined by Arthur Rimbaud in his poem “Le Cœur supplicié” and therefore a word that has no place in the dictionary. On the other hand, if you want to show off in a conversation, it’s still a safe bet.

6. Confusing

Again the dirty influence of the roast beef that turned our brains with their “confusing”. But until proven otherwise, there is no verb “confuser” in French, and therefore no verbal adjective “confusing”. It’s sad, but that’s how it is.

7. Procrastinator

Ever wondered why your spell checker didn’t recognize the word? Well, that’s because it simply doesn’t exist. From now on, you will therefore replace “procrastinator” by “fat lazy woman who prefers to watch series in her bed by biting her toenails rather than going to university”.

top 12 words that don't exist but are used

8. Generate

Originally derived from the Latin etymology “genus” which also gave “gene” and “generation”, “to generate” came back into fashion under the influence of the English “to generate”. However, the French Academy does not validate and prefers that we use “generate”, “produce” or “cause”. Otherwise it’s quenching.

9. Solve

According to the French Academy, “to solve owes its fortune to irregularities in the conjugation of the verb Résoudre, of which it has become a substitute”. However, it’s still a funny word, so we stop saying “Today, I don’t see how we’re going to solve the problem. »

10. Dangerousness

We don’t really know who had the idea of ​​adding this funny suffix at the end of “danger”, but what is certain is that it’s not very French and that it serves, so to speak, to slab. You will understand, it is to be banned.

top 12 words that don't exist but are used

11. Rewarding

If the verb gratifier does exist, the verbal adjective “gratifying” is a nasty French error (in addition to being frankly not jojo). In social dinners, we will therefore prefer “rewarding”.

12. Unreachable

In the category of words that do not exist, the addition of the prefix in- in front of a word that does exist is a very common little trick. There the concern is that “unreachable” is ugly, and we already had the word “inaccessible” to mean exactly the same thing.

Everyone is not Rabelais, who invented expressions. And if you see others tearing your ears out, please share this traumatic experience with us. We are here to listen to you.

Source: Gilles Vervisch, French Academy


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