11 Terms Invented by How I Met Your Mother

Last night's episode, "Platonish," wasn't the first to coin a new phrase

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You won’t find the title of last night’s episode of How I Met Your Mother in the dictionary — but the doesn’t mean it’s not a specific word for a specific thing. The neologism, Platonish, perfectly sums up that not-quite-platonic relationship status…a status that, if you ask Barney, is true of every single male-female pair of friends who are both single (with one exception).

But platonish isn’t the sitcom’s first foray into the land of the lexicon. The show has a long history of coining words, phrases and concepts. Many of the larger, recurring concepts — the Slap Bet, the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal and the hot/crazy scale, the Bro Code… — have successfully infiltrated pop culture, but the writers also have a knack for turning a smaller phrase and coining new words. Like:

The possimpible
Episode: “The Possimpible,” probably the show’s best single-episode contribution of new words
Definition: That which is beyond the impossible, at the place where the possible and the impossible meet. The episode’s focus on business also produced jargon like connectitude, transformatation and linkativity—and…

Episode: “The Possimpible”
Definition: Insane + ridiculous. (Various spellings accepted.)

Episode: “Sandcastles In The Sand”
Definition: The change that happens to someone’s personality when he or she spends time with someone from his or her past.

Episode: “Benefits”
Definition: Awesome + awful; a good way to disguise accidental jubilation.

Desperation Day
Episode: “Desperation Day”
Definition:  Feb. 13, the last day to find someone with whom to spend Valentine’s Day

(MOREPlease Do Not Make a How I Met Your Mother Spinoff)

Woo Girls
Episode: “Woooo!”
Definition: Single women who go out in large groups and yell “wooo!” a lot—even when nothing is actually exciting them

Steak sauce
Episode: “Life Among the Gorillas”
Definition:  A-1, the tops, the best, awesome.

Episode: “Of Course”
Definition: One date that includes “17 dates-worth of romance”

Episode: “Dowisetrepla”
Definition: A play on the naming of many New York City neighborhoods, this locale is Downwind of the Sewage Treatment Plant.

And then there’s one that wasn’t actually invited by HIMYM — it shows up on Google’s Ngram viewer as early as 1859 — but gets an honorary mention for having become so associated with the show
Episode: several
Definition: What a lawyer says upon winning an argument

(MOREHow I Met Your Mother Is Doing An All-Rhyming Episode)


lawyered? LOL, no, not an HIMYM invention, dawg


They've also given us:

HIMYMed (HIM-mimm-d), v (past)... "Media entity, generally referred to as 'television show' or 'movie franchise', that continues to be broadcast long after it has become unwatchable.

"After some excellent, then a couple of decent seasons, this show has HIMYMed."

Synonyms: expired, stale, "jumped the shark", "Homeland"


I love neoligisms and creatively combined words. I still remember one from an old movie that made me laugh a lot, "ratburger".

Still, our student community had "neoligisms" that were much funnier, while something like "Possimpible" seems very awkward and hardly pronounceable.