Have you ever had a song lyric stuck in your head and found yourself singing it for days? Sometimes you don't even know what the words are that you're humming. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite words created by musicians. Some of these fantastical words have become so widely used that they’ve actually been added to the dictionary.
Sussudio is the title of a Phil Collins song, off the 1985 album “No Jacket Required.” When asked, Collins said the word was an imaginary name for an imaginary girl — the perfect word for a song about a dream girl who won’t love you back. Now, it can work for any unattainable girl you may have a crush on.
Pompatus was coined by Steve Miller in his 1973 song “The Joker.” It was most likely a reference to “puppetuse,” a word created for a song sung by the Medallions in 1954. Although no one quite knows what pompatus means, puppetuse was meant to invoke a paper puppet used to unload all of your thoughts and emotions. The word pompatus has become a representation of nonsense words in songs, and even was used in the title of a 1996 movie starring Jon Cryer.
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is the title of a 1968 song by Iron Butterfly, off their album of the same name. The word can be taken to mean “in the garden of Eden,” and might be a phonetic rendition of that phrase. The song itself is an extended jam session that clocks in at 17 minutes.
Margaritaville was coined by Jimmy Buffet on his 1977 album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” It describes a cocktail, as well as the first surge of tourists that were descending on Key West at the time. The word now describes a laid-back lifestyle in a tropical place. The song itself proved to be incredibly popular and spawned a series of restaurants, resorts, and even a musical.
It may sound Italian, but it’s just a made-up word found in Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The song is full of plenty of funny-sounding words, but silhouetto refers to Scaramouche, a stock character from opera, when he is asked to do the fandango (a dance). Silhouetto describes the vague shape of Scaramouche, as well as his possible fear at being asked to dance. But really all you need to know is that it’s fun to belt out the nonsense word at the top of your lungs.
More a loanword ("tutti frutti" means all fruits in Italian), than a made-up word, but it was the title of a song written by Little Richard in 1955, and is known as one of the most influential rock-and-roll songs in history.
Bootylicious — celebrating a curvy, voluptuous woman — was popularized by Destiny’s Child, one of the most famous groups of the 1990s and early 2000s. This song was so popular that the word made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004, defined as "(of a woman) sexually attractive."
Californication is a popular song by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and was released in 1999 as the lead single off their album of the same name. The word Californication is a portmanteau of “California” and “fornication,” and refers to the mindless sprawl that had taken over Southern California. The song refers to the dark side of Hollywood and talks explicitly about pornography and the seediness that goes and in hand with the glamor of the entertainment industry.
Hiphopopotamus is a nonsense word from the comedic duo The Flight of the Conchords in the song “Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros”. A hiphopopotamus, according to the song, is a rapping, rhyming hippopotamus whose “lyrics are bottomless.” Just try not giggling when you imagine this lyrical genius hiphopopotamus
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