Word of the Day

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

idioglossia

\id-ee-uh-GLOS-ee-uh\ , noun;
1.
A private form of speech invented by one child or by children who are in close contact, as twins.
2.
A pathological condition in which a person's speech is so severely distorted that it is unintelligible.
Quotes:
At a recent meeting of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, Dr. Hall White, Mr. Golding-Bird, Dr. Frederick Taylor, and Dr. Hadden, described a disease or pathological condition to which the name of "idioglossia" has been given, and of which the symptoms are an abnormal articulation of English words, so continuous and systematic as to make a new language.
-- Sir Isaac Pitman, Pitman's journal of commercial education, Volume 51
The propinquity between them had even developed into a sort of romantic idioglossia where only they knew the code words of the secret language that sooner or later is incorporated into every love affair.
-- Stuart F. Tower, The Wayfarers
Origin:
Idioglossia combines the Greek roots idio-, "particular to one," and gloss-, "tongue."
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