Thursday, 7 May 2015

Doryphore - A Pedantic Critic

Sir Harold Nicolson: word-maker-upperer extraordinaire 


Noun. Mid-20th century.
[French = Colorado beetle, from Greek doruphorus spear-carrier; coined by Sir Harold Nicolson.]

A self-righteously pedantic critic.

Doryphore was invented by writer and diplomat Sir Harold Nicolson in 1952, writing that he had "tried to supplement [his] vocabulary by inventing words, such as ‘couth’, or ‘doriphore’, or ‘hypoulic’, feeling that it is the duty as well as the pastime of a professional writer to make two words bloom where only one bloomed before." Later, he clarified the exact definition of his neologism:  "The doriphore ... is the type of questing prig, who derives intense satisfaction from pointing out the errors of others." I have nothing more to say on this word, except that I like it, I like it a lot, and I think it's a jolly good word.

Do please leave your most priggish comments in the critic's box below.


  1. I think your a bit Pedantic Yourself Sir.
    As regards, all things word related, oh contraire my good man, I think it's educational 😎😎

    1. I can be a tad pedantic, it's true, but I don't think I'm self-righteous about it (which is a shame, because I rather like the word 'doryphore').