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Author Topic: A steam punk dictionary/lexicon  (Read 47126 times)
TimeTinker
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« on: January 31, 2009, 02:40:41 pm »

Picking up on the ideas of words and terms in a steampunk world, I thought it might be amusing and possibly even constructive to assemble a lexicon of words which are specific to this genre.  In this way we may well understand each other a little better.  (This post has been modified in light of contributions by other members.)

anachronaut - ann-a-kro-nort noun. A person who re-enacts several time periods and is inclined to introduce articles from these activities into the steampunk world.

audiotorian - ord-ee-o-tor-ee-an noun. A person who works creatively in the fields of steampunk music and sound effects.

chrononaut - kron-o-nort noun. A person who travels in time. This may simply be demonstrated by the wearing of anachronistic dress in a particular time reference.

coggler - cog-gler noun. A person who applies cogs or a cog design to make simple cosmetic changes to an object without fundamentally altering it or adding function. See also primocoggler

confabulator - con-fab-you-laet-or noun. A participant in online discussions.

congeniator - con-jee-nee-ate-or noun. Someone who is diplomatic and civil with whom it is possible to have a pelasant conversation.

contraptor - con-trap-tor noun. A person who creates functional or practical steampunk devices. Also a person who extensively  modifies a device to meet the steampunk aesthetic yet maintains its functionality.

erzatz - uh-zats adj. A fake or replacement material. e.g. leatherette rather than leather and plastic rather than metal.

ferroequinology - feh-ro-eh-quin-ol-o-jee noun. The study of railway engines.

gizmologist - giz-mol-o-jist noun. One who is expert in several technical fields.

numpty - num-p-tee noun. A fool or clumsy oaf. Also numptified - num-p-tee-fi-d adj. Where an object has taken on numpty characteristics.

primocoggler - pree-moh-kog-gler noun. An artist who uses cogs and gear motifs to create acclaimed works of decorative art. (From coggler)

regurgitator - ree-gur-jee-tay-tor adj. noun. A derogative term for someone cobbling together items from erzatz materials (plastic, fake leather etc) to produce shoddy, second rate goods for sale.

scriptorian - skrip-tor-ee-an noun. A person who puts down as text creative steampunk ideas.

shellacker - shell-a-cur noun. A person who paints on object with the aim of making it appear more fitting to the  steampunk world.  From  shellack - shell-ak verb. To paint (Usually in metallic colours)

snozzle - sno-zul noun. A nose like brass part essential for the passage of water through an engine. Also vul. a nose, snout or other appendage on a steampunker.

steamacrit - stee-muh-krit noun. One who complains about non working gears being used while coating a Nerf gun with paint and calling it a raygun.

steamchav - stee-m-chav - noun. A person who adopts commercially available and labelled garments and accessories on the grounds they are respected by other steamchavs rather than any inherent aesthetic or ideological value.
Also, steamchavvy - stee-m-chav-vee adj. Applied to describe mainstream, sellout articles or goods valued for their provenence and social acceptibility rather than their actual merit.

steampunkaneer - stee-m-pun-kan-ear noun. A less than reputable person involved in acts of derring do and miscellaneous larceny, usually onbaord aerial vessels.

textilier - tek-still-ee-yay noun. A maker of fine quality steampunk clothing.

thrunge plate - th-run-j-play-t noun. An essential yet poorly understood element to virtually every steampunk construct. It is invariably the thrunge plate which fails when a device fails to operate correctly.


More contributions are welcome and it would be nice to see these terms being used more commonly.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 03:46:20 pm by TimeTinker » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 02:42:32 pm »

I like the idea! Grin
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Matthias Gladstone
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« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 03:37:01 pm »

Remember you can always create new words by combining old ones:

Thanks Ants-Thants

Steampulp-Stulp.

Steam Engine-Stengine.

You get the idea.

Apart from that, a favourite of mine-

Defenestration - the act of throwing someone out of a window.

As for new steampunk words, how about:

Congeniator - a diplomat who specialises in being good company.

-Matt
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 04:03:10 pm »

I like congeniator so duly added to the lexicon

congeniator - noun. A diplomat who specialises in being good company.

I would also like to encourage the use of the word erzatz. During World War 2 this was a term within the German forces used to describe alternatives to real items e.g. coffee or leather produced due to supply problems.  Traders and producers could use this term in advertisements etc to be honest about their products.

For example "some erzatz materials" or "erzatz leather aviator's helmet".

So may I offer for the lexicon:

erzatz - adjective. Describes a "replacement" material used as an alternative to a true SP material. For example, leatherette, plastics (as opposed to bakelite) etc.

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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 04:20:42 pm »

Reenactophile -  (Someone Like Me  Grin)
who can discover Steam punk and then simply go downstairs into the basement and go,

" Confederate Uniform............Check
  Brass Hilted Knife................Check
  Mainz Gladius.....................Check
  Khacki Trousers..................Check
  15th Centurey Gorget..........Check
  1870s waist coat ...............Check
  WWI Rifle Prop...................Check
  Brass Framed Volcanic.........Check
  Retro Motorcycle Googles.....Check"

  hey who's got an Airship? I'm ready, It'll just take me 45 minutes to pack. Wink

 
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 05:03:55 pm by Sgt Whats his name » Logged

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TimeTinker
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 04:45:19 pm »

Re-enactorphile - I know exactly where you are coming from with that one.

Our business is called Time Tarts (see www.timetarts.co.uk) we have kit for every period from neolithic to the 1960s   Our name was coined by Mick Aston a well known UK television archaeologist.  I had just finished building a Roman Crane for the show Time Team and was getting changed but instead of swapping my tunic and caligae for late 20th century dress I was climbing into hose and doublet.  When I explained I was due to be at a castle down the road as a 15th century captain Mick came out with the line "you are nothing but a time tart".  The name sort of stuck and is very useful when you are phoning a production company since it always raises a smile from the receptionist and you get put through.

Can we include re-enactorphile?  We already have the term chrononaut in use. I would define that as

chrononaut - noun. Person who travels in time.

Are you actually more of a person who accumulates period kit and equipment?  Do we need a word which makes this clear.  We can use the roots of collect/accumulate/gather/archive... someone please come up with a good noun or a good definition for re-enactorphile!
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 05:36:25 pm »

Our name was coined by Mick Aston a well known UK television archaeologist.  I had just finished building a Roman Crane for the show Time Team

Was it used in the bridge building episode? I've only seen a couple shows - they were broadcasted on the weirdest of times here for some reason. it really is a fun show!
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2009, 05:50:32 pm »

We used the crane to raise some stone blocks to build a column.  Very nervewracking since we weren't able to test it before we did the lift on camera and it was all made out of timber with hemp rope etc.  I love doing things like that but the pressure is on when you are against the clock of a shooting day and they keep asking you to stop what you are doing until they can get the camera ready thus wasting what little time you have.
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Nefthys
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2009, 07:33:21 pm »

Remember you can always create new words by combining old ones:



Apart from that, a favourite of mine-

Defenestration - the act of throwing someone out of a window.



-Matt

The actual definition of Defenestration is the act of throwing a person, or thing, out the window.  Which just makes it even better! I used that word in a grade 9 peom once and my teacher had to go look it up.
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2009, 07:38:56 pm »

Defenestration is an excellent word making use of the latin roots.  There are many other words out there that are little used but appropriate.

We could really do with some first class adjectives however.

What would be a steampunk word which summed up the genre and expressed a sense of something being good or alternatively bad.  These are the sorts of words that become embedded in a culture.
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Matthias Gladstone
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2009, 08:16:31 pm »

Well, almost my own invention:

Numptified - something which has taken on the characteristics of a numpty through the actions of one's self or another. "That engine is completely numptified".


I also think we need some pseudo-technical words:

Snozzle - A nose like brass part essential in the passage of water through an engine.

Thrunge Plate - an essential part, varied in size, that no-onde really knows the purpose of.

Aethercopter - A flying machine about which no-one has any clue as to how it stays in the air.

-Matt

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TimeTinker
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2009, 08:28:00 pm »

Like those. Numpty and many variations thereof are in common parlance in our family so numptified is definitely in.

Thrunge plate - it almost makes you think every device should have a thrunge plate, not for function but because it becomes and essential part of any steampunk device.

Snozzle - perfect.

Aethercopter - don't we use that already?

So now can we say...

"That (insert name of person selling on ebay) is a total regurgitator who should pull their snozzle out of their *rse.  Every numpitifed thing they produce is just erzatz tat and they have the audacity to call themselves a contraptor? Well I wouldn't even deign to call them a coggler!  Anyway I have to go, got to meet my textilier. She is such a congeniator and is making old re-enactorphile me  some first class togs."

I think we may be onto something here Grin
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Matthias Gladstone
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2009, 09:18:20 pm »

Very nice. I'm not sure about aethercopter - I don't think i've seen it about, but i'm not sure.
How about "Blaspeme-o-copter"- a colloqialism for a flying machine that stays in the air, reportedly, only on the curses and swearing of it's pilot, due to shoddy construction or age.
I think i'm going to have to get my mother involved in this - we love making up words in this house, and she has a much more balanced vocabulary than myself.
-Matt
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2009, 10:46:08 pm »

I like the terms contrapor, coggler and textilier. That covers alot of what steampunks do. As a very casual writer, I shall biased ask for a term for people who write Steampunk stories. Actually, come to think of it, maybe a term for people who make Steampunk music, movies and games....
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2009, 11:59:38 pm »

What about scriptorian from the writing down of text, music and ideas?
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« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2009, 02:07:44 am »

How about "Blaspeme-o-copter"- a colloqialism for a flying machine that stays in the air, reportedly, only on the curses and swearing of it's pilot, due to shoddy construction or age.


Up here, we call that a Sea King Tongue

Re-enactorphile - I know exactly where you are coming from with that one.

[...]

Can we include re-enactorphile?  We already have the term chrononaut in use. I would define that as

chrononaut - noun. Person who travels in time.

Are you actually more of a person who accumulates period kit and equipment?  Do we need a word which makes this clear.  We can use the roots of collect/accumulate/gather/archive... someone please come up with a good noun or a good definition for re-enactorphile!


What about "anachronaut?" I know the word has already been coined, but I don't believe it's been given a definition yet. It could encompass those who are full-out re-enactors as well as those who seek to incorporate subtle Victorianisms into their lifestyle.

Like those. Numpty and many variations thereof are in common parlance in our family so numptified is definitely in.


I'm afraid I've never seen that one on this side of the pond. I think I can guess from the context, but I'd be grateful if someone could tell me certain.

I'm also a bit unclear on your definitions of coggler and contraptor, and on the distinction between the two. I can see the extremes — Red Max's monowheels on one end and that sewing machine on the other — but where's the middle? Datamancer's keyboard mods are entirely cosmetic, but he's substantially changed the structure of them; they're functional, but they were exactly as functional before he started. What about lilibat's jewelery? How about practically every single one of Herr Döktor's creations? Is he a contraptor or a coggler, or do we need a third division? (Actually, I believe most of us can "see" the difference between a contraption and a coggling, but would have the Devil of a time explaining why something is one or the other.)

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« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2009, 06:10:04 am »

Amanuensis originally meant "manual labourer", but its current meaning is more like "personal secretary" or "scribe".

A "confabulator" is a participant in an online discussion.

"Ferroequinology" refers to interest in railroad engines (iron horses).
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2009, 07:18:27 am »

Steampunkaneer! A steam punk person aboard an airship.
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2009, 08:18:35 am »

How about "Blaspeme-o-copter"- a colloqialism for a flying machine that stays in the air, reportedly, only on the curses and swearing of it's pilot, due to shoddy construction or age.

Up here, we call that a Sea King Tongue
/Facepalm You just had to go there, didn't you?

I'd like to submit Shellacker - noun - Similar to a regurgitator, a shellacker is one who takes an object, and simply applies a layer of brass/gold paint or similar treatment for purposes of veneer.

I.E. - Another shellacker got their hands on that same Nerf gun again,
or   - That usp device looks sharp, but hasn't it really just been shellacked?

Edit:
Steampunkaneer! A steam punk person aboard an airship.
I understand many of them like to be called Aeronauts.

TimeTinker: Perhaps, as new words come through, you might go back and edit your original post with a list for easy reference?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 08:21:23 am by Sean Patrick O-Byrne » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2009, 09:36:07 am »

Or possibly a sticky thread?
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2009, 11:54:14 am »

Thank you ladies and gentlemen for your advice and contributions.  I am happy to try and maintain a lexicon.  All we need is for the words to actually be used within these august halls and we have a living breathing language specific to steampunk.  The current lexicon is thus:

anachronaut - ann-a-kro-nort noun. A person who re-enacts several time periods and is inclined to introduce articles from these activities into the steampunk world.

chrononaut - kron-o-nort noun. A person who travels in time. This may simply be demonstrated by the wearing of anachronistic dress in a particular time reference.

congeniator - con-jee-nee-ate-or noun. Someone who is diplomatic and civil with whom it is possible to have a pleasant conversation.

coggler - cog-gler noun. A person who applies cogs or a cog design to make simple cosmetic changes to an object without fundamentally altering it or adding function. See also primocoggler

confabulator - con-fab-you-laet-or noun. A participant in online discussions.

contraptor - con-trap-tor noun. A person who creates functional or practical steampunk devices. Also a person who extensively  modifies a device to meet the steampunk aesthetic yet maintains its functionality.

erzatz - uh-zats adj. A fake or replacement material. e.g. leatherette rather than leather and plastic rather than metal.

ferroequinology - feh-ro-eh-quin-ol-o-jee noun. The study of railway engines.

numpty - num-p-tee noun. A fool or clumsy oaf. Also numptified - num-p-tee-fi-d adj. Where an object has taken on numpty characteristics.

primocoggler - pree-moh-kog-gler noun. An artist who uses cogs and gear motifs to create acclaimed works of decorative art. (From coggler)

regurgitator - ree-gur-jee-tay-tor adj. noun. A derogatory term for someone cobbling together items from erzatz materials (plastic, fake leather etc) to produce shoddy, second rate goods for sale.

shellacker - shell-a-cur noun. A person who paints on object with the aim of making it appear more fitting to the  steampunk world.  From  shellack - shell-ak verb. To paint (Usually in metallic colours)

scriptorian - skrip-tor-ee-an noun. A person who puts down as text creative steampunk ideas.

snozzle - sno-zul noun. A nose like brass part essential for the passage of water through an engine. Also vul. a nose, snout or other appendage on a steampunker.

steampunkaneer - stee-m-pun-kan-ear noun. A less than reputable person involved in acts of derring do and miscellaneous larceny, usually onbaord aerial vessels.

textilier - tek-still-ee-yay noun. A maker of fine quality steampunk clothing.

thrunge plate - th-run-j-play-t noun. An essential yet poorly understood element to virtually every steampunk construct. It is invariably the thrunge plate which fails when a device fails to operate correctly.



I will of course add to this as required.

Thadeus Tinker



« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 12:02:54 pm by TimeTinker » Logged
Havelock Oliphant
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2009, 11:58:52 am »

I would love to have our own steampunk lexicon so all I find and use I will add hopefully.
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2009, 12:13:38 pm »

We need more adjectives!

We particularly need a universal term for good/excellent and one for bad/terrible.



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Matthias Gladstone
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2009, 05:07:10 pm »

For good, my mother suggests:

Marvellificent - wonderful, fantastic etc.

And for bad, I suggest:

Moriartious - bad, villainous.

And for more technical terms:

Galvanic-Dethrumodulator - A zinc coated part for removing impurities from exhaust streams and coolant water.

Cloud Drifter - a sail powered airship.

Cloud Cleaver - A high powered military airship, usually with an armoured bow.

Clodhopper -  A heavy, ankle length or higher military boot worn on the march or in boggy/clay-ey terrain.

-Matt
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2009, 04:21:03 am »

On a similar thread I once defined the word "Gizmologist: someone skilled in a number of technological fields".

And earlier today I had a thought (dangerous, I know).  If a marine is a combatant who travels places on a waterborne craft, what would a combatant from an airship be called?  Now I don't mean standard ships security, I mean elite troopers used for boarding actions and establishing "land-heads".
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