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:
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.
Definition: Awesome + awful; a good way to disguise accidental jubilation.
Episode: “Desperation Day”
Definition: Feb. 13, the last day to find someone with whom to spend Valentine’s Day
Definition: Single women who go out in large groups and yell “wooo!” a lot—even when nothing is actually exciting them
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”
Definition: A play on the naming of many New York City neighborhoods, this locale is Downwind of the Sewage Treatment Plant.
Definition: What a lawyer says upon winning an argument