4

I have been looking for a word that means kickassiness, but haven't come across one. Is this an accepted word? If not, what word can be used in its place?

4
  • 1
    -1: Check a dictionary. Also, if you're trying to use proper words, don't use kickass.
    – J D OConal
    Oct 11, 2010 at 2:15
  • 6
    @J D OConal: I’m new to this site so maybe you have some kind of consensus here. … but: when is “check a dictionary” ever the right answer? No dictionary (and for the record, I’m talking about English dictionaries) in the world contains more than a tiny fraction of the English language. None of them are canonical or mandatory. Oct 11, 2010 at 10:02
  • 2
    @J D OConal: I would be terribly surprised if your daily conversation/writing is limited to dictionary words.
    – Chandam
    Oct 12, 2010 at 3:34
  • 1
    -1, you need to specify, accepted in what context? Accepted by whom? (I think it's a fun question, just incomplete.) Oct 12, 2010 at 6:38

6 Answers 6

8

You don't say something is "kick-assy", you say something is "kick-ass." So I think the correct form would be "kick-assness".

You wouldn't use this in any formal setting, though. I agree with awesomeness as an alternative.

3
  • Why the downvote? kickassness has 275000 hits on google; kickassiness, 329.
    – Claudiu
    Oct 11, 2010 at 3:22
  • Well, it depends what form of English we're talking about here. I thought the OP was asking whether the word could be used in more formal writing, for which Google does not provide good statistics, and for which the word 'kick-assness' would not be appropriate. Basically, I thought your answer did not contribute to answering the question. However, I would removed my downvote because I think I might be wrong, but it's more than two hours old. If you edit the post, I can remove my downvote.
    – J D OConal
    Oct 11, 2010 at 4:03
  • I think kickassness more or less captures it and is better than kickassiness. This is not going to be used in a formal setting, so it is alright. Thanks!
    – Chandam
    Oct 12, 2010 at 3:37
6

Kickassiness uses the often-sarcastic -iness ending (compare "truthiness", "maverickiness", and the phonetically similar "helpy"); so, analogously to those words, it gives the impression that something is trying to pose as kickass but is not succeeding. I'd probably go with "kickassness" or "kickassitude" if that was not the desired impression.

All the above are perfectly cromulent productions from the base word; don't let any prescriptivist tell you different.

1
  • Nice insight with "thruthiness" and "maverickiness". I've never heard the latter but I totally get it instantly. Oct 25, 2010 at 22:50
3

I'd say "kick-assery" is a lot better than kickassiness since "kick-ass" stems from a verb.

2

English - natural language in general, is "productive", which is to say that it happily accommodates new words derived from existing ones on standard patterns. Slang and familiar language are by nature more productive than formal language. Thus, if you use "kickassiness", people (at least, people who understand "kick-ass") will mostly understand you even if they have not heard it before. Whether or not they adopt it themselves is in the lap of the gods, of course (and the answers by @Epago and @Claudiu suggest that it is unlikely because slightly more natural alternatives already have some currency). It is also unlikely to impress English teachers, judges in courts of law, or prospective employers, of course, but you probably already knew that.

1
  • Teachers, judges: true. Prospective employers: depends. Mar 22, 2011 at 16:27
1

Although it's rarely used in slang, it's neither an accepted nor a proper word. Instead, I would use "awesomeness".

1
  • 3
    What’s a “proper word”? Oct 11, 2010 at 10:07
0

Even Wordnik turns up zilch, and Google shows a measly 300 something hits. There doesn’t really seem to be a need for this word. Futhermore, I agree with @Claudiu. “kickassness” seems to be the term you’re looking for.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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