A neologism is a relatively recent term, phrase, or word that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not been fully accepted into mainstream language. A neologism is often driven by changes in culture and technology. In the process of the formulation of language, neologisms are rather mature and are not the same as protologisms. A word whose developmental stage is between that of protologism and neologism is often called a prelogism. Examples of neologisms can be found in the fields of science, fiction, films, TV, branding, jargon, cant, linguistics, the visual arts, literature, and popular culture.
Neologisms are often created by combining existing words or giving words new and unique prefixes or suffixes. Neologisms can also be formed by blending words together. For example, the word brunch is a blend of the words breakfast and lunch. A relatively rare form of neologism is when proper names are used as everyday words like boycott, guy, Karen, etc.
A neologism can be popular via memetics, mass media, the Internet, and word of mouth. This can happen even in academic discourse in several fields that are renowned for their use of distinctive jargon, and the most remarkable thing is that they often become accepted parts of the language. Sometimes, they disappear from common use as fast as they appeared. Whether a neologism continues as part of the language depends on several factors, the most important of which is probably acceptance by the public. It is also interesting to note that it is quite unusual for a word to gain popularity if it doesn’t clearly resemble other words.
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