On Today’s New Word

I needed a word today. I fished around that musty brain attic of mine, and could find none that were appropriate. So I coined one.


Embafflement is the feeling of oncoming confusion. Embafflement is the sense that the more you know, the less you understand.

Why did I need the word embafflement? Well…

I had to write about a toy relating to a television series called Phineas & Ferb. The more I read about it, the less I thought I knew. I wasn’t just baffled. I was embaffled. Thus, embafflement.

The root of embafflement is the verb, embaffle, which didn’t exist until five minutes ago when I typed this out. College students could use embaffle in a sentence thusly — “I liked that professor, but her lectures embaffled me; the more notes I wrote, the less sense I had.” Or, geneological researchers — “I thought the census records would give me clarity, but instead I was embaffled by them.”

And embafflement has a nice ring to it. It flows off the tongue nicely. It sounds portentious. It’s the kind of word that you hear, even if you’ve never heard it before, and you instantly understand it.

I’m going to use embaffle and its derivatives more often. I foresee fantastic application in the realm of political commentary. The Tea Party embaffles me. Sarah Palin embaffles me. Yes, it works!

Use embaffle, embaffling, or embafflement in everyday conversation. I challenge you! :cheers:

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