1. BC Barry
    Offline

    BC Barry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    New York, USA

    Help me invent a word, please?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by BC Barry, Jun 28, 2016.

    My current story is about a group of average 11-year-old boys. They live on a planet with two suns, one purple, one white. They harvest huge flowers with giant petals which their village uses for everything from food to clothing. Think of an undeveloped society, a village of huts deep in the forest with a population of around 500 people.

    Animals are different and have their own names. The boys call each other bog face and glump head, then apologize when they cross the line by placing the heal of their hand to their foreheads and saying, "Wiseness."

    Most other terms have just appeared for me, but I'm having trouble with something equivalent to "cool." Kids say cool all the time. There are many scenes when the boys should be saying it and as of right now, I'm using cool. But it just doesn't fit and I'm stumped.

    Help?
     
  2. newjerseyrunner
    Offline

    newjerseyrunner Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2016
    Messages:
    304
    Likes Received:
    231
    What does your society strive to be? Do they want to be legendary warriors like the ancient greeks? Do they want to be rich and famous like today? Do they wish to be enlightened? What word the children use to signify what we call "cool" would depend on that I would think. To 2016 americans, Neil Patrick Harris is "cool." To 100 Athenians, Apollo was probably "heroic."

    I have an idea: "chiseled." Here me out. Words evolve over time and often come from seemingly unrelated ideas. Do you know where the word "legendary" came from? We think of a legend as a story like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, but to the Europeans a thousand years ago, a legend was simply a notebook. In a time where ink had to be made and very little of the population was literate, something noteworthy enough to be written down was a major event. Hence: legendary. Your primitive society probably hasn't even developed paper yet, so things important or interesting enough to be written down would have to be chiseled into rock.
     
  3. BC Barry
    Offline

    BC Barry Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    New York, USA
    The society itself strives mainly for survival. They spend the summer months growing, gathering, and hunting to provide enough to last the winter and beginning of summer. Each family has it's own specialty which has been handed down for generations. They actually do have a form of paper made from the flower leaves, they use berry juices and a twig to mark on it. But no written language, this paper is mainly used to maps, pictures of plants and where they can be found, etc. Or, for the boys, the monsters they invent and need to battle and maps to the best swimming holes.

    I guess, from the boy's perspective, the parents' main concerns are having enough of their specialty to provide for their family and trade for other necessities. The family that spends all day collecting and processing the flower petals for medicine still needs meat and vegetable, etc. And to have large families to help with this task and teach those offspring all they need to know for their specialty. The children usually spend their mornings working and learning the family trade, then the hot afternoons playing and swimming. Families with many children will allow those with few to teach the latter's trade to one of their kids, so the skill doesn't die out if something happens.

    I guess if there's any trade that would be deemed 'cool' to the kids it would be the hunters or the mappers. The hunters are the obvious. The mappers explore much farther than any of the other villagers looking for fresh crops of the native plants they use and larger herds of the animals they hunt.

    Sorry, that's probably more than you needed to know. I do appreciate the help. And I think I might like the word 'chiz' as a possibility. That's so chiz! You aren't as chiz as you think you are. I just saw the chizest rock! Well, not sure about the last one.

    I think the mappers are much respected and considered to be very brave, exploring unknown and dangerous areas as they do. Maybe they could chisel a permanent map onto a large monument in the village center, adding to it as they discover more and more?
     

Share This Page