TextWorkshop

Frimble

I’ve just made up a word. Frimble. It doesn’t exist. At least I don’t think it does. I love inventing nonsense words.  We all do. The only poem I can remember learning by heart as a child is Lewis Carroll’s Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble … But museums, intent on authenticity and academic truth, are loath to invent. At TextWorkshop, we give the example of Jersey museum’s great wooden floor studded with words like futtock, bowball and tabbling. These words conjure up a maritime atmosphere even though not a single one of them appears in the average person’s vocabulary. It’s the same with frimble. If I put it in a sentence – My elderly aunt was inclined to frimble  – I’m sure you’d wouldn’t cry, ‘What’s she talking about!’ Quite the opposite. You might think I’d described my aunt rather well. We should all make up more words, including in museum text. It will make what you want to convey even clearer, not more obscure. It will be setting a scene in which see what you have to show us. So be brave with your words. Don’t frimble.

Dea.