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  • I coined this word several decades ago. It is synonymous with "sesquipedalian word." I guess it didn't catch on. Derives from terato- "monster" and -nym "word."

    -Tim Baehr

    March 21, 2011

  • Never mind. Perhaps you can use it as a paper weight.

    March 21, 2011

  • -onym- "name", rather

    March 21, 2011

  • It could be useful as a term for malformed words (such as anatidaephobia).

    March 21, 2011

  • A teratonym ("monstrous word") is a word that is intentionally almost or completely unpronounceable, or which is alien (or monstrous) in the context of the language that it is being used in.

    It appears to be a recent coinage and is not widely used, but occurs in some academic literature concerning the works of the early-20th-century horror author, H. P. Lovecraft. Names in Lovecraft's work, such as the famous "Cthulhu", or phrases such as "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn", are teratonyms, intended to represent human attempts to speak words that are from a completely inhuman language.

    It is possible that C. L. Robinson originally coined this word (see below).


    Teratonymy: The Weird and Monstrous Names of H P Lovecraft

    - C. L. Robinson

    Simulating H.P. Lovecraft horror literature with the ChatGPT large language model (see esp. section 4.2 which reference to 'use of teratonyms')

    - Eduardo C. Garrido-Merchán, José Luis Arroyo-Barrigüete, Roberto Gozalo-Brihuela

    June 30, 2023