I changefied the word "jerk" because I'm an insanist. Do these misunderstandify the userhood of italki?

I read an article recently about jerks ( and one word stood out for me: jerkitude. This is not a word you'll find in any formal dictionary, and it gets a piddling 7580 hits in Google. Yet as a native speaker I immediately understood what it meant: the quality of being a jerk.

Since then I've been having fun making up words in my own head. For example, the next time I see a really obnoxious spider I'm going to call it an "arachno-jerk".

-- LEARNERS PLEASE NOTE: NONE of these words are REAL! I just INVENTED them myself! --

THE GRAMMATICAL JERK (most of these involve derivational suffixes - suffixes that change nouns into verbs, for example)

jerkify (The process of making something or someone into a jerk. Alternatively, it could mean "to turn fresh meat into jerky", I guess.)


jerkish ("jerky" is already taken, eg. "His jerky driving led to an accident". "Jerkish" actually gets a respectable 70,000 hits in Google.)



jerkishness (a better word than "jerkitude", in my opinion, because it's consistent with the rules of English morphology.)


jerkocracy (government by jerks...this should definitely be a word)

anti-jerkite (a Seinfeld reference: in one episode Jerry insults dentists, and the listener happens to be a dentist, who flies into a rage and accuses Jerry of being a bigoted "anti-dentite")

Jerkism (if you think of "racism", it could be analogous to "anti-jerkite". If you think of "Communism", "Structuralism", etc. it means "the ideology of being a jerk")

jerkicide (the assassination of a jerk)


jerkology (the study of jerks)

endo-jerk (I suggest this as a translation of the German "innerer Schweinehund")

polycryptojerkoesophagolagnia (an unhealthy sexual attraction to a multitude of hidden jerk throats)

Some ideas to discuss:

- Do you ever make up words in your own speech? I think we all do it sometimes (eg. "I'm anti-white chocolate", "a wood-like texture")

- Can you think of a context in which any of these words could be used? Try to use some of these words in a sentence!

- Does your language permit such flexibility with affixes? *

- Can you invent any more jerk-derived words? Here's a useful affix dictionary:'ll notice that this small dictionary has over 1500 entries, but most are only used in scientific jargon.

* English is pretty morphologically simple, but Chinese even more so. Nonetheless, I used Chinese bound morphemes to invent a few "jerk" words like 混蛋主义 ("jerkism") and 混蛋性 ("jerkishness"). Some on italki's Chinese forums thought the words clever and witty, others thought them just weird. But everyone understood them, which suggests Chinese is more inflectional than is often assumed.

Oct 1, 2016 12:28 AM
Comments · 21

Jerkotopia: a dream land for jerks 

Semi-jerk: someone who is not a complete jerk.

Multi-jerkual: consists of several kinds of jerks.

October 1, 2016

I wholeheartedly accept all your words, ocean2 and Miriam (and well done to everyone here who's contributed here - not a single native speaker, even though this task should be much easier for them. A jerk should visit a jerkotherapist and maybe receive electrojerkotherapy for their jerkopsychosis.

It's funny, I was thinking of "jerktastic" recently. I thought of the word "asstastic", which is an adjective to describe a fantastic ass. So if someone makes a really mean but funny comment you could legitimately call that "jerktastic" - meaning fantastically jerkish.

I don't know if this is just me descending into the gutter, but "jerkasm" remindinded me of "eargasm", a portmanteau of "ear" and "orgasm" to describe music that's so fantastic to listen to that...well, you know.

I'm not saying "asstastic" or "eargasm" are legitimate words but I've heard both said by others. If you said them in everyday speech to an English-speaker I'm pretty sure they'd understand it. Jerkotherapist, jerktastic and jerkasm would be highly context-dependent but you could try!

October 1, 2016

Wow, it's so easy to broaden your vocabulary with just a root word and a couple of affixes. How about the following words?

jerkophile -  being sexually attracted only to jerks

jerktastic - the great salf-satisfying feeling of being a complete jerk

jerkasm - saying something evil in a nice or neutral way, so some people even don't realize they've been offended 

October 1, 2016
Jerkotherapist: a person who cures jerks.
October 1, 2016

OMG!!!You have done a lot hell out of Jerk:):)I think it is "Jerkomania" or "Jerkaholic" as you just using one word,made a bunch of words which really make sense and sound cool:)I think Oxford may pay attention towards these words to include in its next update:)

BTW,I came across a word called "Skydivolic"--guess what it means??

Thanks for such nice topic and especially for some jerkish  words invented by jekification:)

October 1, 2016
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, Persian (Farsi)
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Persian (Farsi)