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What does the flustrated mean? Is it even a word? I am using Lingea Lexicon and it doesn’t know this word, but the Internet is full of it.

I find myself getting mad at people for using it both in English and in my own language (Czech), because if it actually has a meaning, I am afraid that those who use it doesn't even know it and use it with the meaning of frustrated, which is wrong.

I dug into it a while back, which only deepened my opinion about people who use it; see Urban Dictionary: flustrated.

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I would guess at a portmanteau for frustrated and flustered. – St John of the Cross Mar 16 '13 at 21:04
@StJohnoftheCross Mayhap, but if so, it is one of those portmanteaux of extreme long standing in the language of the vulgus. – tchrist Mar 16 '13 at 21:12
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Certainly flustrated “is a word”, although it does not appear to be especially well thought of. The OED reports that the verb flustrate has been used for more than 300 years; it simply means fluster.

Here’s one amusing citation:

  • 1876 Mrs. Oliphant Curate in Charge (ed. 5) II. iv. 100 — The head of the college was slightly flustrated, if such a vulgar word can be used of such a sublime person.

It is, however, marked vulgar or jocular — as so too is flustration (originally sometimes spelled flusteration), which has been around nearly as long and is reported to mean:

The condition of being flustered; ‘fluster’, agitation.

I would probably avoid using flustrate and its inflected and derived forms in formal contexts unless I were trying to convey a folksy, jocular, or ironic feel, such as in reported speech. But I wouldn’t let it confusticate or bebother me, either.

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It is a jocular blend of fluster and frustated.

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This answer has already been given. – tchrist Mar 17 '13 at 12:51
sir I just used my knowledge. – barbie Mar 18 '13 at 15:21
@tchrist only in a comment, not as an answer. – Chris Sunami Sep 26 '14 at 14:50

I'd probably burninate the word if I could, but please don't misunderestimate all people who use it. Japanese people sometimes mix up "r" and "l" when they're typing as well as when they're speaking, in which case "flustrated" is just a flustrating mistake:

Properties and phase transitions in flustrated Ising systems. In Frustrated Spin Systems (eds. Diep, H.). World Scientific, Singapore, pp. 59–106.

(Note: the error was probably not in the article cited, but in the citation itself)

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In as much as the Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "to fluster," it's generally received as a portmanteau of "fluster" and "frustrate." English is chock-full of portmanteaus: spork (spoon+fork), biopic (biographical+picture), carjack (car+hijack), motel (motor+hotel), paratrooper (parachute+trooper), and many, many others. Even the word portmanteau is a portmanteau of "porter" and "manteau," meaning mantle, and refers to a type of suitcase, which word Lewis Carol then borrowed in order to coin its now more common meaning as word that packs multiple words into a single word, like Jabberwocky does.

That said, I am not in favor of all portmanteaus. Far from it. For me, in fact, some of the most insipid and insidious words in the English language are Portmanteaus that describe people's relationships, as in Brangelina (Brad Pitt + Angelina Jolie) and Bennifer (Ben Affleck + Jennifer Garner). Despite these particular assaults leveled by pop culture against my better sanity, however, I would still not toss out the portmanteau because so many words, particularly technological words like email (electronic+mail), come into English directly as a result of portmanteaus, so let's not get too flustrated by them.

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People typically use this word to mean a mixture of being flustered and frustrated. In my opinion this makes a useful word for describing a distinctive and common mental state. However, it is impossible when hearing it used to know whether or not it is being used intentionally, or if the speaker has simply mistaken two similar words.

Because of this, it will unfortunately make you sound undereducated if you use it, unless (as mentioned elsewhere) you are clearly using it in a joking way.

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