Is there any English single word that can be used to indicate a poem with invented words, like Jabberwocky? I am looking for a single word rather than a two-word expression like "nonsense poem", "nonsense verse". Also, it doesn't have to indicate necessarily a Limerick.

(Of course, should this word not exist, please feel free to invent one …)

EDIT: I have found that in Italian this is called "metasemantic poetry" which is not a single word but it sounds ok to me. However, apparently this expression is not used in English.

  • 1
    Namárië. – tchrist Nov 27 '13 at 6:02
  • 2
    Vogon, perhaps? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 27 '13 at 9:49
  • «Namárië» could be an interesting new word for something similar - but the entire language is invented there. Doesn't «Vogon» refer just to "bad poetry"? – randomatlabuser Nov 27 '13 at 23:07
  • 1
    Second-worst in the universe! But it does seem to be made up mostly of made-up words (possibly in Vogon, possibly just nonsense words—but Vogon is an invented language, anyways). – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 27 '13 at 23:27
  • Wasn't it the third worst? :-) – randomatlabuser Nov 27 '13 at 23:42

Must it refer to only a poem? Amphigory is close, but more broadly applicable.

| improve this answer | |
  • +1 «Amphigory» is a piece of nonsensical writing (but not necessarily it has invented words in it). I am thinking of a poem where the structure of sentences respects the grammatical rules of a language, sounds like that language, but is made up of invented words (it might even make you think that you understand its meaning - while you are obviously not). – randomatlabuser Nov 27 '13 at 23:22
  • Amphigory comes up as a synonym on searching 'nonsense verse synonym' in Google. – Sam May 15 '14 at 13:12

How about Pseudolexipoesy? Although it's made up, people looking at it would be able to work out what it means.

Actually in Greek putting two or more words together to make a third (or more+oneth) is not making them up, it's parts of the language structure.

| improve this answer | |
  • Or perhaps pseudolexipoem and pseudolexipoetry? – randomatlabuser May 15 '14 at 12:46

Doggerel fits, but covers more ground than just nonsense with invented words.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.