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into vs. in to - I've long had in mind adding an entry about when to use "into" and when to use "in to," but was undecided about how to do so. I've decided to find several explanations and use this slot in the pd to introduce several sites which can help you with correct usage. All of the material in the example field will be copyrighted, with the copyright holder indicated in the first part of the entry. You can see what each has to say, then decide which, if any, you want to add to your favorite grammar & usage sites. I think what I have in mind falls under fair use provisions of copyright law. Nothing is cited with permission, so if it doesn't, I'll be glad to prepared to address any complaints. See into for more.


Into vs. In To | Q: Can you explain when to use "into" versus when you should use "in to"? -- Char Using "into" and "in to" interchangeably is a very common grammar faux pas -- heck, my sister commits this grandiose error in e-mails at least twice a day and, despite my attempts to sic the grammar police on her, she continues to write recklessly. But if you understand their individual definitions, it's easy to pick the right word to convey your true meaning and avoid the grammar police altogether. 
The word "into" is a preposition that expresses movement of something toward or into something else. I made it into work a few minutes early today. The tooth fairy tucked the tooth into her pocket before placing a $1 bill under my daughter's pillow.  
"In to," on the other hand, is the adverb "in" followed by the preposition "to." They aren't really related and only happen to fall next to each other based on sentence construction. My boss sat in to audit the meeting. The tooth fairy came in to collect my daughter's tooth. 
One trick to help you decipher which word (or word pairing) is correct is to think of it this way: "Into" usually answers the question "where?" while "in to" is generally short for "in order to." So look at your sentence and replace "into" or "in to" with "where?" If the second half of your sentence answers it, use "into." If it doesn't, replace "where" with "in order to." If that works, use "in to." Here is this method put into practice: 
The tooth fairy put my daughter's tooth where? Ah -- into her pocket. 
The tooth fairy came in where? To collect my daughter's tooth? Hmm -- that doesn't work. The tooth fairy came in order to collect my daughter's tooth. 
Grammar police, rest easy -- we've got this one under control.
Common Errors in English Usage | Paul Brians "Into" is a preposition which often answers the question, "where?" For example, "Tom and Becky had gone far into the cave before they realized they were lost." Sometimes the "where" is metaphorical, as in, "He went into the army" or "She went into business." It can also refer by analogy to time: "The snow lingered on the ground well into April." In old-fashioned math talk, it could be used to refer to division: "Two into six is three." In other instances where the words "in" and "to" just happen to find themselves neighbors, they must remain separate words. For instance, "Rachel dived back in to rescue the struggling boy." Here "to" belongs with "rescue" and means "in order to," not "where." (If the phrase had been "dived back into the water," "into" would be required.)  
Try speaking the sentence concerned aloud, pausing distinctly between "in" and "to." If the result sounds wrong, you probably need "into."  
Then there is the 60s colloquialism which lingers on in which "into" means "deeply interested or involved in": "Kevin is into baseball cards." This is derived from usages like "the committee is looking into the fund-raising scandal." The abbreviated form is not acceptable formal English, but is quite common in informal communications.  
See also turn into. | Mister Micawber Action or movement traditionally require into: I ran into the bar. This is in contradistinction to the location preposition, in: I am drinking in the bar.  
In to is two separate particles (an adverbial and an infinite marker): I sat in to learn the details of my assignment; I came in to warm my feet.

PS: I can also make the to a preposition: I went in to the jeers of my enemies.
Tina Blue | January 19, 2001 I. Into is a preposition. In a sentence, the preposition into will be part of a prepositional phrase consisting of into + its object + any modifiers of its objects. The entire phrase it is a part of will function adverbially to modify the verb or verb phrase that precedes the phrase.  
1. When he walked into the room, he found that the meeting had already started.  
2. Put the toys into the basket.  
3. The pumpkin was turned into a carriage.  
II. In the phrase in to, in is an adverb, directly modifying a verb, and to is a preposition with its own object. When the word into is used in a sentence where in to is meant, the resulting statement can be absurd.  
1. She turned her paper in to the teacher.  
2. She turned her paper into the teacher.  
In the second sentence, the paper is transformed -- poof! -- into the teacher. We've all heard the old joke about the magician who was so talented that he could drive down the street and turn into a gas station. Of course, if he just wanted to get gas somewhere, he would turn in to a gas station. 1. Put the cookie back into the jar.  
2. I need to turn this book back in to the library.  
3. Would you hand this assignment in to the teacher for me?  
4. Turn your badge in to the officer at the desk.  
5. Cinderella stepped into the carriage.  
6. At midnight, the carriage turned back into a pumpkin.
The Snarky Student's Guide to Grammar Quick rules:
  • There should generally be only one preposition per phrase.†
  • Use the prepositions into and onto to indicate movement from one place to another. I stepped into the room. He stepped onto the podium. She jumped into the pool. I tossed my book onto the desk.
  • You can often use into and onto interchangeably with in and on, which are also prepositions. She jumped in the pool. I tossed my book on the desk. In both sentences, the sense of movement is obvious through context.
  • If the preposition is an integral part of a phrasal verb, also known as a two-word verb*, then don't consider it a preposition; consider it part of the verb. Keep phrasal verbs intact.

    1. Correct: The robbers will break in to the bank at 6pm. The phrasal verb is 'break in,' meaning to enter without permission. In is part of the verb and the preposition is to.
      Incorrect: The robbers will break into the bank at 6pm. The phrasal verb has been corrupted.
    2. Correct: I'll look into this matter before the end of the day. The phrasal verb 'to look into' means to investigate.
      Incorrect: I'll look in to this matter before the end of the day. The back-to-back prepositions in this phrase signals the error.
    3. Correct: Turn your paper in to your teacher. The phrasal verb 'to turn in' means to submit. In is part of the verb and to is the preposition.
      Even better: Turn in your paper to your teacher. The phrasal verb is kept together.
      Incorrect: Turn your paper into your teacher. Shazam! Your paper is now your teacher.†'To turn into' is another phrasal verb meaning to transform. D'oh, that's not what you meant.
    4. Correct: I am really into alternative music. The phrasal verb 'to be into' means to be passionate about.
      Incorrrect: I am really in to alternative music. The double preposition is the clue that there is an error.
Daily Writing Tips: "How to Choose Between 'Into' or 'Onto' and Their Two-Word Forms" | Mark Nichol Into or in to? Onto, or on to?  
Into and onto are prepositions, words that describe relative position. They are part of prepositional phrases, such as "She settled herself into her seat" or "He climbed onto the roof." These words are forward looking, in that, as their grammatical name implies, they are positioned before the object.  
In to and on to, on the other hand, are combinations of an adverb (in or on) and the preposition to. Unlike the single-word forms, they look both backward (in and on refer to a preceding verb) and forward (to pertains to the following object).  
Of the distinctions between each pair, that distinguishing into from in to is more straightforward. If you wish to write that you went somewhere to let a representative of a company know you are disappointed with a product or service, you can express that idea using either form. But if you write, "I walked into the office to lodge a complaint," the sentence focuses on the prepositional phrase "into the office." If you write, "I walked in to lodge a complaint," the emphasis is the phrase describing the action: "I walked in."  
Onto and on to can be more confusing, but think of the problem this way: "She drove onto the highway" means, "She drove so that she was on the highway." Conversely, "She drove on to the highway" means, "She headed for the highway." The two-word form is also appropriate for figurative meanings, where no physical movement or placement exists -- for example, "I think you're really on to something."  
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to test whether onto or on to is correct -- temporarily insert the word up after the verb, or, just for the test, replace the word or the phrase with the word on:  
The Up Test
When you wish to write that you used a ladder, could you write, "I climbed up onto the ladder"? Yes, you could, so onto is correct. When you want to express that you clutched something, could you write, "I held up on my hat"? No, the sentence does not make sense, so the two-word form ("I held on to my hat") is the right one in this case.  
The On Test
When you wish to write that you scaled a boulder, could you write, "I climbed on a boulder"? Yes, you could, so onto is correct. When you want to express that you bequeathed something, would you write, "I passed it on him"? No, that doesn't make sense, so the two-word form ("I passed it on to him") is correct here.

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

intoxiphoning - Telecommunicating after imbibing mass quantities of alcohol, resulting in regretful embarrassment.

e.g., Patrick went on an intoxiphoning bender after consuming a frightening amount of tequila, resulting in a dreadful hangover and a feeling of immense embarrassment.

submitted by patrick gaffey

intoxivacation - Getting drunk on holiday.

e.g., Lorene drank so much on holiday that it led to her intoxivacation.

submitted by Suzan L. Wiener

intracarnation - Reinvention of oneself within this lifetime. A fresh start. A form of immortality-within-mortality.

e.g., I embarked on a new adventure when I left England -- an intracarnation that gave me a fresh view of the world.

submitted by Toby - (www)

intregoo - A humourous misspelling of "intrigue," originally a mistake, but now used to denote fake, pseudo-, or otherwise unrealistic intrigue in a commonplace occurrence.

e.g., Someone is in the bathroom, you say. Such intregoo.

submitted by Thomas Taylor - (www)

intreme - Unusually calm or reserved; does not stand out like it used to; not as obnoxious as normal.

e.g., Since Jim Carrey is usually wacky in his movies, I was so surprised to see his intreme disposition in his movie Liar, Liar.

submitted by MD_Caruso

intriguering - Kinda like beleaguering, only intriguering.

e.g., Hmm, that's a very intriguering word, ZZ.

submitted by Zeromay Zentroclo

intrusittude - Strangers intruding and commenting on scandalous behavior, particularly among youths. Intrusive attitude.

e.g., She showed massive intrusittude in asking us to get off the computers, because we didn't "belong" there.

submitted by Adira

intuitious - Being intuitional and ingenious at the same time. Intuititious.

e.g., That was very intuitious of you.

submitted by Lisa Nujin

inuition - A semi-precognitive sense possessed by dwellers of northern frozen climes.

e.g., Herdlo's inuition told him there was a school of large fish just beneath the ice ledge on which he sat carving an ice fairy.

submitted by Andy Triggs - (www)

invenereal - Immaterial; beside the point; irrelevant. May be used either with deliberate irony or in complete and utter ignorance. Invenerial.

e.g., It doesn't matter. This whole discussion is invenereal.

submitted by Lunch

invenerial - Unimportant, trivial, illogical, irrelevant.

e.g., Most of the information given at the seminar was invenerial, which explains my lack of notes.

submitted by bob schwartz

inventocreativiplasm - The juices that flow thru an artist's mind.

e.g., Every time I hang out with other weirdos, explosive quantities of inventocreativiplasm begin to back-build.

submitted by steve zihlavsky - (www)

inverse / parallel stones time theory - Complex philosophical hypothesis which holds that the possibility of accurately predicting the state of the world at any point in the future declines in inverse proportion to the length of time in the future from now, with the sole exception that the possibility of the Rolling Stones still being on tour increases in direct proportion to the time in the future.

e.g., According to Inverse/Parallel Stones Time Theory, if the world survives until 2009 it can never end because after then, nothing can be accurately predicted EXCEPT that the Stones will be on a world tour, and for that the existence of the world is necessary.

submitted by Ungentlemanly Conduct

inversion mark - (n.; punctuation symbol) Shaped like a slightly elongated Greek alpha (α), the inversion mark allows a writer to quote passages out of order. So, for example, if a passage contains points A, B, & C, and the rhetoric of the situation suggests that point C be mentioned first, the writer can quote point C, followed by an inversion mark, and then points A and B.

e.g., From Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (the second section comes before the first in the original, but seems ever so much more powerful after it): "Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As, to be hated, needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace. But where th'extreme of vice, was ne'er agreed: Ask where's the North? at York, 'tis on the Tweed; In Scotland, at the Orcades; and there, At Greenland, Zembla, or the Lord knows where: No creature owns it in the first degree, But thinks his neighbour further gone than he! E'en those who dwell beneath its very zone, Or never feel the rage, or never own; What happier natures shrink at with affright, The hard inhabitant contends is right. α Fools! who from hence into the notion fall, That vice or virtue there is none at all. If white and black blend, soften, and unite A thousand ways, is there no black or white? Ask your own heart, and nothing is so plain; 'Tis to mistake them, costs the time and pain."

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

inversodoxy - Automatically adopting whatever happens to be the opposite viewpoint to current orthodoxy.

e.g., Watching TV always used to give me a powerful surge of inversodoxy.

submitted by Erasmus Thrasamund

invertolitude - The sudden feeling of being upside-down and alone.

e.g., After watching too many bat movies, Sarah woke up with invertolitude.

submitted by Ty Evans

investigation - The investment of funds for the purpose of transporting water to a drought-stricken region.

e.g., When I was asked to donate to bring badly-needed water to midwest farmers, I asked, "You want an investigation? You think I give a DAM?"

submitted by Mitchel Yerzy - (www)

investigetting - When you go to check out the community food in your office, intending to come back with a plateful.

e.g., I caught Sheila investigetting in the kitchen again. There was still half a birthday cake when she got there... but not when she left.

submitted by Judy Pearce - (www)

invide - (v.) to become or cause to become invisible (on analogy with "divisible": divide > divisible :: invide > invisible).

e.g., In the Fantastic Four, Jessica Alba invides a lot. | Sometimes, in Invisible Man movies, they have the guy uninvide slowly: blood vessels first, then nerves, then organs, etc. etc. ad nauseam.

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

invidiate - People who do not watch TV enough to know what's going on with programs TV watchers like to talk about. Similar to "illiterate" for people who don't read. Note: this is not an insult, probably a compliment.

e.g., I don't know about that program. I'm too busy to watch TV, so I'm invidiate.

submitted by Elaine

invisibilize - To make a field invisible in a computer software application.

e.g., Tammy didn't want her customers to know her age, so she had the programmer invisibilize the date-of-birth field.

submitted by Matt Vines

invisible minority of one - It's almost like not existing. Or being a ghost that no one sees. Who wants to be noticed, or famous, anyway? But, you are aware of others.

e.g., An invisible minority of one has some advantages. Perhaps more freedom, uninvolved with the seething masses, pushing and shoving this way and that. You may be the ultimate minority, and that's some kind of accomplishment right there. Maybe you're more aware of some things, things that others don't seem to notice. Hey, look here too, don't you see things as they really are? Fat chance.

submitted by Paul Edic - (www)

invisible, to - 1. Transitive verb: to make invisible. HTML code to do this, using the controlling brackets in reverse order: >!--make me invisible--<. Invizible, to uninvisible = to make visible, uninvizible = uninvisible. 2. Invizible = not visible, perhaps non-existent.

e.g., Sometimes you can find out interesting stuff about a web page's creator by uninvisibling that which has been invisibled. Invisibling could also be used as a juvenile way to pass along secret messages. Ooooooh. Text can also be invisibled by making the text color the same as the background color. Drag your cursor over the rest of this field to see what has been entered.

Do you feel like you're ready to be a spy now?

submitted by HD Fowler

invisisquare - An imaginary box going around your body about six inches away from yourself. To make an invisisquare you take both index fingers and, starting in front of you, trace a box around to your back, and then back to your front again.

e.g., You're crowding me. Please stay out of my invisisquare.

submitted by Noelle

invisitize - A programmer's term for hiding an object from an end user's view.

e.g., It would be cool to invisitize the submit button if the form is not filled out correctly.

submitted by Jim

invisiword - Any word or part of a word hidden beneath another word or so far to one side as to be off-screen.

e.g., Fix your margins if you want to avoid invisiwords.

submitted by Rene Chenier

invulgarating - An action which or a person who makes you want to actually become vulgar or to use vulgar language.

e.g., I found Judy's attitude and behavior at the cast party to be quite invulgarating.

submitted by Mark Thistle - (www)

inworlders - People who live on planet earth.

e.g., The alien isn't an inworlder ... because she lives on Mars.

submitted by jeffery's english class

io - Someone who always owes her friends money. Applies to either gender. Basically, this is a word play on "He owes."

e.g., Mary is an Io. Yesterday she borrowed $10 from me, and today she wants another five.

submitted by Paul

iokiyar - It's OK If You're A Republican.

e.g., PWL: "I always think itís interesting the Republicans think the rules they impose on other people never apply to themselves . . . one more example of IOKIYAR, I guess."

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

ionparadox - A juxtaposition of ideas, images or experiences that propel you beyond your current level of understanding. Or simply to go beyond established opinions.

e.g., That movie was an ionparadox--the world seems like a different place after seeing it.

submitted by Richard Powell - (www)

iowegians - A combination of Norwegian and Iowa. Most folks in northern Iowa have ancestors from Nordic countries.

e.g., Iowegians are considred to be some of the most Internet literate in the nation.

submitted by rachel

ip - (n.) the converse or reciprocal of pi; that is, the diameter of a circle divided by its circumference. This number is a constant: 0.31831015. (Pronounced to rhyme with "hype," "rip," "deep," or even as _yop_, the sounds pronounced backwards.) The mathematical symbol is the greek letter pi, turned upside-down.

e.g., The area of a (round) pizza is equal to either (a) pi times the radius squared or (b) the radius squared divided by ip. Try it.

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

iplod - Take a solitary walk while listening to your iPod. | Listen to your iPod while doing tedious work.

e.g., He went for an iPlod and should be back in an hour.

submitted by Craig Mussay

ipodded - To upload a song to your iPod.

e.g., I ipodded that song to my player last night.

submitted by nikcass

ippidy - Cool, awesome.

e.g., Well, isn't that ippidy!

submitted by Debbi

ipskitch - A small child, usually caught in an act of mischief. Either that, or our Bohemian grandma was calling us something else entirely.

e.g., You little ipskitch, get outta dem cookies.

submitted by patric kelly

ipswitch - Multipurpose word.

e.g., Oh, ipswitch. Where the ipswitch did I put my hat?

submitted by RAO

iq - (Pronounced: Itch) An itch anywhere on the tongue. Plural: Iqes

e.g., I always find it strange when I scratch the iq on my tongue.

submitted by Jeff

ira! ira! - Say it when you're annoying or frustrated. One of the many Japanese onomatopoeia.

e.g., Windows locks up your computer: "Ira! Ira!"

submitted by Mike Jump

iral - (n.) (EYE-ral) A page of a printed memorandum or document showing dates for important events in a corporation or general community. (Etymology: None. This word came to me during a dream last night, and I have no idea where it was from or why I remembered it.)

e.g., Clarence tore up his company's newsletter after reading in the iral that on the day of the Halloween office party he would have to go to the dentist.

submitted by Mirakle B.

irantecedents - What you find in Persian history, or your grandpa's angry speeches.

e.g., What you need to do is go to your irantecedents.

submitted by nbm - (www)

iraqnophobia - Fear that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, close ties to Al Qaeda, or plans to rule the world.

e.g., After losing the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War--and with UN sanctions--why all the Iraqnophobia?

submitted by Danny Middleton

irascissimusia - Comes from the Latin for angry. A phobia for even the remotest signs of anger. Symptoms are hallucinations, fainting, and regular sneezing -- the time gap between sneezes will be precisely 2 minutes 43.27 seconds.

e.g., The only reason our teacher doesn't get angry with our class is because the boy in the back corner suffers from irascissimusia.

submitted by Tom

irection - Abbreviated version of "I reckon." Said in mid-conversation to agree with a previous staement or question. Be careful, however, innocent by-standers may think that you said "erection."

e.g., Enrico and Bruce are out walking. Enrico sees a beautiful and busty woman walking in the distance. Enrico: Wow, see that babe, she's beautiful. Bruce: Irection. Bruce has just agreed with Enrico's comment.

submitted by Sammmy

irgomat - Arrogant, self centered.

e.g., Chris is always an irgomat.

submitted by Lukas Friga

iridium - An expression, usually spoken by women after they've parted with a male partner.

e.g., "Suzie, are you still with that bum?" "No. Iridium."

submitted by Mitchel Yerzy

irie ites - Jamaican or Rastafarian equivalent of "It's all good." Good feelings all around. Sometimes can be shortened just to "ites."

e.g., Plinthe: So how was Ziggy Marley? Decca: Oh, ites, mon. Irie ites for sure.

submitted by Paul

irish bull - "A statement containing an incongruity or a logical absurdity, usually unbeknown to the speaker."

e.g., "She's dangerous when she's mad. Last night she came after me fully armed -- with a pistol in each hand and a carving knife in the other." "Hmmm, that sounds like a bit of Irish bull to me."

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

irk. - Instead of using the text language ikr, for "I know right?," why not use IRK? It's simple, easy to remember, and a great way to get someone's attention. Soon, all your friends will want to know what the heck "IRK." means, and you'll feel like a more mysterious person. Go ahead and try it! IRK. away!

e.g., friend: wow i gtg but we totes have to hang sumtime! you: IRK. bye!!

submitted by Mira

iron knee - A situation created when an expected outcome unexpectedly turns out to be completely opposite. Based on American Indian folklore. The word is pronounced as if there were no space between iron and knee: eyer-un-ee.

e.g., All the birds were going to have an endurance flying contest. Wonderful prizes would be awarded. Crow knew that he would earn a prize because of his strength and perseverance. However, he was not happy with winning his prize, he wanted to have a bigger and better one.

Every day for a month, he went to the salt marshes and stood for hours in them until his feet became stiff and heavy as stone. He then flew to Eagle's nest.

"Hello, Eagle," Crow said. "Will you fly in the contest?" "Of course," said Eagle, "I will win a great prize." "Look," said Crow, "There is a succulent young rabbit hopping down there in the arroyo." As Eagle turned to look, Crow swiftly raised his foot and kicked at the center of Eagle's leg.

However, Crow did not know that Eagle had lost that leg in a hunting accident and that Raccoon had fashioned him a leg cast of iron. The result was that Crow not only did not get Eagle's prize, he broke his foot, was not able to enter the contest, and won no prize at all. Thus the condition called "iron knee" entered the World.

submitted by Charlie Lesko

iron law of bureaucracy - Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Iron Law of Bureaucracy

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

Or, restated:

. . . in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher, including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

e.g., Reform is impossible once the Iron Law of Bureaucracy is in effect.

submitted by [Jerry Pournelle]

iron-box - Slang for a virgin.

e.g., We can't call Sally iron-box anymore.

submitted by Brandon - (www)

ironeous - Filled with irony. Similar to ferroneous: filled with iron. (ED. Found on the internet as a misspelling of erroneous. The Rice University Neologisms Database: "Not being an acceptable use of the word irony or ironic. Formed by blending.")

e.g., Having the Star Spangled Banner led by Lola and the Kinks would be ironeous.

submitted by Fenix - (www)

ironoclast - Someone who is well known for being ironic. A prince of irony, if you will. (ED. From Langmaker: "ironoclast (i-ron-o-clast) n. [Blend of irony + iconoclast.] One who uses wit to attack traditional or popular ideas or institutions.")

e.g., I think Steven Colbert might be a bigger ironoclast than Jon Stewart, don't you?

submitted by Hal Colombo - (www)

ironosphere - The great field of sarcastic irony thath surrounds the earth beyond the ionosphere. Thought to be responsible for most of the world's irony.

e.g., Some think we should brutally subdue the natives to secure the peace, but I think it's just a storm in the ironosphere.

submitted by Hal Colombo - (www)

ironsherpa - In triathlon training and racing, the friends and family members who support the racers are commonly referred to as "sherpas." An IronSherpa is specifically a person who assists an athlete completing the full IronMan distance triathlon.

e.g., Mary has been on Jill's support team for many triathlons, but recently became an IronSherpa when she assisted Jill at the full Ironman Wisconsin race.

submitted by Diane Shelton

irony - When something is made of iron or has iron characteristics.

e.g., This place sure has a lot of irony.

submitted by Pat Ward

irony slap - When irony is presented most vividly in front of one's face -- when what expected does not occur.

e.g., I expected to get an A in chemistry, but then I got an F on my report card. That was an irony slap. | Chris, did you get accepted into that college you boasted about getting accepted for sure? No, I got irony slapped instead. All colleges I applied for rejected me.

submitted by Daniel Lee

irrationale - A worthless or misguided justification for a project or task, often handed down by Pointy-Haired-Bosses.

e.g., The project was so flawed I couldn't believe anyone could have thought it would work, until I found out the irrationale had come from the Marketing Department. Just what you should expect from Marketing, eh?

submitted by Adam Deslauriers

irreciperrous - /eer-reh-sip-ur-us/ Making no difference.

e.g., It is irreciperrous to me which restaurant we visit tonight.

submitted by Nebuul

irrefixable - Damaged or broken beyond repair.

e.g., I think that motor is irrefixable.

submitted by tony

irregardless - People use this to stress the meaning of regardless. | Used to dismiss a valid point or issue. To continue in spite of the facts. †

Nota bene: Don't use finding this entry in the PseudoDictionary as an excuse for using irregardless. Irregardless is not a word; the PseudoDictionary is not a dictionary.

e.g., You will follow the policy, irregardless of your feelings. | Abe: Your decisions have resulted in a loss in excess of $2.2 billion. Zeb: Irregardless. We still need to address our employees excessive smoke breaks.

submitted by James Turk | J Mealey - (www)

irrelephant - In an argument or a debate, an attempt by one party to obscure, or ignore, a very, very large issue.

e.g., "Now, honey. Didn't I get you that diamond necklace you always wanted, AND that beautiful bouquet of red roses AND a box of your favorite chocolates? Isn't that most important? The fact that I came home at 4:00 a.m. with lipstick on my collar and my clothes in a mess the day before the gifts is completely irrelephant!"

submitted by Charlie Lesko

irrelevate - To make something or someone irrelevant or moot.

e.g., The existence of a backdoor in the program irrelevated the logon security.

submitted by Bryan

irrespellsible - Of one who types a word without regard for correct spelling, even when a spell checker is available.

e.g., Spool chuckers are used against irrespellsible persons, no?

submitted by Gary Sumners

irresponsibility - Responsibility.

e.g., I refuse to accept irresponsibility for my actions.

submitted by Jeremy Richards

irrestible - Irresistible. Just a typo.

e.g., MP3 files are copied illegally because the music is irrestible.

submitted by Miss Speller - (www)

irri-tator - One who annoys a potato.

e.g., Relentlessly mocking his neighbor in the supermarket's vegetable aisle, the carrot was an irri-tator.

submitted by Mitchel Yerzy

irrigance - Supreme arrogance combined with ignorance.

e.g., Most politicians' speeches and attitudes are irrigant.

submitted by Ian Purcell

irritaining - Extremely irritating yet still entertaining.

e.g., SpongeBob SquarePants is irritaining. The SpongeBob SquarePants TV series is irritainment at its best ... or is that worst?

submitted by John Lemon

irritainment - An especially lame movie, television show, or performance, especially if you spent a lot of time and money to get to it -- anything by Meatloaf or Pauly Shore, the slightest glimpse of Paris Hilton, one syllable of The View.

e.g., Nothing at the movies this summer but irritainment. I'll be damned if they'll get a nickel out of me until September.

submitted by Michael Nemiroff - (www)

irritati - An obnoxious or irritating group of people. | Irritating people.

e.g., I'd go downtown tonight, but I'm sure I'd be stuck standing around amongst the irritati if I did.

submitted by Nick Bielli

irriterate - To expound, as in "irriterate on a subject."

e.g., Mia irriterated on the qualities of her grandmother's mashed potatoes.

submitted by Mary Ellem McCann

irrits - A case of irritation.

e.g., Stop it, you're giving me the irrits.

submitted by Sara

irvine-vision - Similar to a Monet, Irvine-vision is used for a person who looks good from a distance, but whose good looks diminish the closer you get to her. From the city of Irvine, California, where this phenomenon was first experienced.

e.g., I thought she was good looking, but it was just Irvine-vision.

submitted by Mike Sperry

is - Adjective for describing how one feels. The meaning changes depending on emphasis.

e.g., Wil: How are you feeling today? Bil: It depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

submitted by HD Fowler

is it in yet? - Kiwi: Has the mail arrived?

e.g., Is it in yet?

submitted by HD Fowler

is such a - Ambiguous, inappropriate, inept, lame, overused, and weak phrase.

All right to use in sentences such as "Anyone who objects to the use of the phrase 'is such a' is such a jerk." | "Anyone who objects to the use of the phrase 'is such a' must be an English teacher -- either that or she's some kind of editor. Anyhow, only a really anal-retentive type person should have any objections." Otherwise, should be replaced by something more interesting or by something more enlightening, entertaining, or exciting. Possibly by something clever or coy or cute. For that matter, a pedantic, phlegmatic, or prosaic example would usually be an improvement over one's using "is such a."

e.g., That one old lady editor is, like, such a total curmudgeon -- or whatever you call a lady curmudgeon.

A biatch? Beech? Bich? Chib? Bioch? She must be really old -- maybe even 30! OMIGAWD!!! Could she be even older than that????? THAT'S IT!!!!!!! That's why she wants us to use the shift key and use standard capitalization, punctuation, spaces, and spelling. iTma KeSIteZIeEr fORHeRto REeD wHAtWEROte. She even expects us to use an occasional adjective or adverb in our examples. Thinks it'll make her job easier, faster, and more fun. I'll bet she thinks the visitors who browse through the words will enjoy them more if we give a little more thought to our examples, not just to the words we submit. She is such a jerk. Like, totally. EEEEEEWWWWW!!!!!!!

submitted by HD Fowler

is when - Occurs when. "Is when" often appears in submittals, either in the description or example. Given that I'm a prescriptivist fuddy duddy who thinks we're generally going to hell in a handbasket -- even worse in that regard than HillsDale -- I make an effort to change all such occurrences in submittals to something else. That may seem like a strange thing to do for a site that exists primarily as a way to publicize folks' made-up words and phrases, but our interest in change is largely limited to new words, not new "rules" of grammar -- or throwing away useful old "rules."


e.g., "Clicktivism is when political or social activists use online communication, largely social media such as Twitter, Facebook etc, to galvanize protests."

submitted by Lillith - (www)

ischnot - Is not. Use while you are in debate or argument. The opposite of isstew.

e.g., 1. Katy's behavior ischnot acceptable to Joe. 2. That ischnot the right answer.

submitted by Cris

ish - Issues.

e.g., That guy has major ish!

submitted by zak

ish, the ish - Something not cool, aAything that isn't with today's trends.

e.g., Failing grades are the ish. "Get that Honda ish away from me."

submitted by Aaron Marquis

ishatalef - (ee-shah'-ta-leff; n.) 1. a solution that is obvious when finally revealed or thought of (but not before); 2. a group of people acting in concert as one person, usually in order to provide alibis for one another; 3. a confederate tasked with providing an alibi. [From the Hebrew isha 'woman' and atalef 'bat'; alluding to the anime 'Mystery of the Batwoman,' in which three different women don the identity of Batwoman in order to give one another alibis so as to accomplish various goals.]

e.g., Various theories attribute the several Shakespeare plays to Francis Bacon; Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford; William Stanley, 6th Earl of Derby; Christopher Marlowe; and even Miguel de Cervantes. Derek Jacobi, the famed English actor, believes in what is called the "group theory"---an ishatalef approach that allows for a group working together to write these famous plays.

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

ishe tray - An ice cube tray employed as an ash tray

e.g., Please don't spit in the ishe tray. That's disgusting. It is strictly for cigarette ashes.

submitted by Matt

ishi - A nauseatingly ugly garment, usually in some combination of light tan, gold, red, or brown.

e.g., I would not leave the house in something that ishi.

submitted by t&l

ishkababble - Nonsensical talk, gibberish.

e.g., Stop speaking ishkababble; otherwise, I'll have to forcibly quiet you!.

submitted by Ankur

ishkabibal - freakish term of endearment

e.g., "hey ishkabibal whats for dinner?"

submitted by Matt - (www)

ishmas - Pronounced as "its-mas." Basically, its a comedic idea full of irony, a funnier principle.

e.g., I don't care that you let peeps in on the secret, just remember it's the ishmas that matters.

submitted by Adam L. Glover - (www)

ishtar - Random stuff.

e.g., I got all kinds of ishtar in my room.

submitted by ditnis

ishu bashu - Shorter way of saying "I love you."

e.g., "Ishu bashu," she told me as I left.

submitted by ceana

ishy - Gross and icky.

e.g., Serving big parties at the restaurant is pretty cool when they tip well, but they usually leave the tables so ishy that it's hard to clean up after them.

submitted by Paul

iskadil - (rhymes with hiss-the-'bill; n.) The "men in black" to whom is ascribed the maintenance of the secrecy about the alien presence on Earth. [From the mescalero [?] apache iskle+dilhkih "black leggings"---note: Roswell, New Mexico (center of the main UFO tales of the 20th century), lies in what was Mescalero Apache territory.]

e.g., The iskadil have been around a lot longer than operation bluebook. The legend of these "black legs" predates Columbus by centuries. so how long have the aliens been coming here?

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

islamogration - Moslem immigration. Islamigration.

e.g., Will Sharia be the law after ten more years of Islamogration?

submitted by JMcD - (www)

islamophobiaphobia - Greg Gutfeld claims to have invented the word, as Islamophobia-phobia: "fear of being labeled Islamophobic." I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and not look for a use earlier than August 29, 2010.

e.g., The further to the right you are in the American political spectrum, the less likely you are to be an islamophobiaphobic and the more likely you are to be islamophobic.

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

islandic - This is a shorter version for Pacif(ic) (Island)er that my Filipino friend and I came up with.

e.g., Look at that group of "b" boys. Most of them look islandic. Am I racial profiling when I say that?

submitted by bobby mcmillian

ismist - (Pronounced to rhyme with LIZ-m-fist; n.) Any one of us who believes, at any given moment, in the reality of one or a group of the various lines and labels (national, racial, religious, philosophical, vel cet.) that we use to separate people into different groups (us vs. them) as justification, rationalization, or excuse for our dismissal, distrust, dislike, and destruction of one another. (I'm using '-ist,' although you could just as well use '-er,' '-ite,' '-ist,' '-an,' -al,' '-ic,' '-ian', or a host of others.)

e.g., Ironically, calling someone an ismist can sometimes itself be ismism (pronounced to rhyme with LIZ-miz-m. Ismism is actually an imbalance rather than a prejudice. It is not so much condemnation of others' beliefs as it is misusing them to justify some kind of an attack (philosophical, physical) ... although the attacks, for some reason, usually end up killing people, not beliefs. The reality of ismism, however, does not call for, not can it justify, the rejection of all beliefs or of any particular belief (since such a rejection would be just as groundless as uncritical acceptance); so labeling someone an ismist (especially falsely), will often simply (a) curtail rational debate (like people need a reason to abandon rationality), as well as, far worse, (b) preclude human kindness (the very rarest of commodities) in a situation that really needs it. [So, if you think this term helpful in defining the hierarchy of belief-and-practice with which humans deal every minute of every day, great. But please: think about the word and discuss it carefully with others before you ever use it---give it at least a week before you push the red 'ismist' button.]

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

isness - Being or existence.

e.g., Marco: The other day I heard about this rap artist.... Marcello: "Rap Artist"? No, sorry guy, that's a contradiction in terms. No such thing could ever even come into isness.

submitted by Jonathan Charles Wright

iso - Used in the corporate world in reference to quality assurance standards (International Standards Organization), but in my office (process engineering) it's used for "I'm so. . . ."

e.g., The hooch wants me to complete this task by tomorrow, but iso covered up with this quality assurance thing I'll never get it done by then.

submitted by Dugg

isolatericostudy - Isolatericostudiousity. What is often done by students preparing for a test|quiz|finals where all life is blocked out but the cramming of info. Often accompanies persons suffering from Zihlavskitis.

e.g., I don't mind helping you with your test prep, but I really do better with isolatericostudy.

submitted by steve zihlavsky

isoscent - Filled with oneself.

e.g., I first thought Veda was innocent, and then I thought maybe she is ignorant. But then I realized she was neither, but a queer -- isoscent -- steeped with herself.

submitted by Vedapushpa

isoscrat - A contour on a map illustrating a line of constant density of muscrats. ("Muskrats" in the United States.)

e.g., Comparison of isoscrats on the two maps shows clearly the spread of muscrats in Transylvania over the past century since their introduction.

submitted by Tom White

issue - personal problems

e.g., "He's not coming tonight. He's got issues. Or Try another printer, this one's got issues."

submitted by Andy

issuematic - Substitute for problematic; extremely bad or stupid.

e.g., If you use Veg-O-Matic, you got automatic issuematic with what's for dinner.

submitted by Alisha

issuing - Having issues.

e.g., What's up with her? She's been issuing a lot lately.

submitted by Shireen

isth't - "It was thought to be a simple contraction of 'is' and 'that'. But when it began creeping into the language, it was noted that it is invariably preceeded BY 'is'."

e.g., The thing is isth't she went to the store and didn't tell me.

submitted by Matt

it makes me want to staple bagels to my face. - When something really annoys you or something horrible just happened...first used by Mo.

e.g., ARRRGH! Chris is so annoying. He makes me want to staple bagels to my face.

submitted by Maggie

it rivals my head - For something that is great, astounding, and ultimately superior in its class.

e.g., Susan: How did you like the new art opening at the Met? Jake: It's great. It rivals my head.

submitted by Paul

it'll be fun - As good a reason to do anything.

e.g., Come on, light the fuse already. It'll be fun!

submitted by Paul

it's all jesus - A phrase used to indicate something is all good.

e.g., Jane and I got in a fight, but we made up and now it's all Jesus.

submitted by Doc - (www)

it's not 1983 - A comment made when something is not cool, hip, fresh, or in anymore.

e.g., Get that coat off. It's not 1983. | "Your glasses look as if you met them in 1983. It's not 1983. You need to update your accessories." "My glasses are not accessories. I need them to see. . . . But I'll get a new pair to make you happy."

submitted by hughie - (www)

it'sn't - It is not. It's not. It isn't... Therefore we come up with "it'sn't."

e.g., Baseball. It'sn't a bad sport. It's a good sport.

submitted by Yakir - (www)

itaglish - Italian-English, a combination of two very different languages typical of the Italian diaspora. Prevalent in the US, Canada, Australia, and -- of course -- the UK.

e.g., Nonna was speaking Itaglish, so they couldn't tell what she meant.

submitted by thedom - (www)

itch - An edgy description of something that's seems indescribable. Can be interpreted as positive or negative at the same time by two different parties, making it a non-partisan, agreeable descriptor.

e.g., Rumsfeld's last news conference was itch.

submitted by Duane



submitted by ROBERT

ited - A state of disunity, separateness, disorganization, fragmentation.

e.g., The 13 Colonies were the Ited States until they adopted the Constitution and became the Un-ited States, and so did the Ited Nations, which finally got together at Lake Success and became the Un-ited Nations (how did this one ever get by all these years?). Ited we we fall, un-ited we stand. Workers of the word (sic) -- un-ite.

submitted by S. Berliner, III - (www)

iterate - what you do before you reiterate

e.g., John iterated the subject..then he reiterated

submitted by Lesah

itiots - Useless I.T. people who are supposed to assist you on the phone with your computer problems, but cannot speak regular English, only technical lingo that you don't understand.

e.g., I hope I don't get one of those itiots on the phone when I call computer repair again.

submitted by Celeste Simmons - (www)

itis - The feeling of a sleepiness after a big meal.

e.g., I've contracted the itis.

submitted by Colin

itits - 1. Breasts requiring an I cup bra size. 2. I cup boobies.

e.g., Just think how interesting the Super Bowl halftime show would have been if Janet Jackson had itits rather than ctits. Tempest in a pop tit, it was. | Yeah, the Janet Jackson brouhaha was big, but it would have been even bigger if she'd had itits.

submitted by HD Fowler

ito - Act of judicial incompetence.

e.g., He was guilty as hell. How could there possibly have been any resonable doubt? He got off only because the judge pulled an ito.

submitted by Alexander T. - (www)

its, it's, its' - NOTE. Some of these are words, some are not. "Its" is the possessive of the pronoun "it." "It's" is a contraction for "it is." "Its'" is not a word at all. I've convinced myself that many instances of using "it's" incorrectly for "its" come about because the writer is in a hurry and simply is paying attention to what she's doing.

e.g., It's too bad her cat lost its toy. |

Why Canít Government Actually DO Anything? (Because itís Government Stupid.) : Is it any wonder the Minerals Management Service (MMS) had no contingency plans in place when the Deep Water Horizon rig blew up? Is it any wonder Secretary of Interior Salazar was caught flat-footed? Not to me. MMS is one of no less than eight Ė count Ďem, eight Ė operationally independent bureaus falling under the Department of Interior (DOI). Each one has an organizational identity all itsí own. And a congressional budget all itsí own. DOI cannot be managed by anyone, period.
| The Conservative Treehouse has a lengthy post about the recreational drug, itís effects and side effects, and alleged screen captures of Trayvon Martinís social media sites discussing his fondness for the concoction. | "Why would anyone continue going to medical school with itsí concomitant costs of hundreds of thousand dollar loan requirements with zerocare limited income potential?"

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

itsa - Used in improper English. The slurred version of "it's a. . . ."

e.g., Itsa duck I tell ya. A duck

submitted by Kimberly Peterson

itsposed ~ it's'posed - The way we say the words in "The way it's supposed to be." Given this new word, you won't have to figure out whether or not an apostrophe is needed. You can see from the link that I make no claim to originality. It's'posed, itsaposed. Itsposed is used for search purposes.

e.g., The truth: I'm too idiosyncratic to be a true grammar snob. I'm not particularly interested in being a grammar nazi either. . . . But I'd damned sure like to be The Grammar Czar. At my age I can't afford to be pissing away my time arguing about grammar. What I want is to be able to tell you the way it's'posed to be. That's just what I intend to do at grammar czar.

submitted by HD Fowler - (www)

itup - A suffix that converts almost any word into a verb.

e.g., We were out golfing itup today at the local green. We went to a kegger and beer'd itup.

submitted by Nathan

iwonic - Winning a contest or a prize for which the entry or the winner is unsuited. Getting a promotion for which one isn't competent.

e.g., That blind guy winning the set of historical silent movie videos was about as iwonic as Elmer Fudd winning an elocution contest.

submitted by Richard Factor - (www)

iword - What we now say instead of saying the derogatory word "Indian." Used when referring to the original inhabitants of the continent of North America, the Native Americans. A word that came about in the early 21st century when NWORD became an acceptable and widely for an earlier word used for any and all people of black (i.e., dark) skin color. Just one word of many that has now become widely used in common speech. Other examples are CWORD, GWORD, m-word and others. (ED. Native Americans living in Oklahoma commonly refer to themselves as "Indians" -- and don't seem to mind the designation or consider it to be derogatory. There are several "Indian Hospitals" around the state: Claremore Indian Hospital, Lawton Indian Hospital, etc.)

e.g., At the casino in northern Michigan, I heard a gambler who had just lost a small fortune on the blackjack table call the Native American casino the IWORD.

submitted by creative guy

ix - This word is a solution to that annoying problem that your English teacher stuck you with. It is a third person singular gender-neutral pronoun. Contrast with: "Each child played with her toy."

e.g., Each child played with ix toy. Each person had the chance to air ix complaint.

submitted by Chris Wilson - (www)

iykwimaityd - If You Know What I Mean, And I Think You Do.

e.g., "Torta" is not used by all Hispanics to mean ďsandwich.Ē Some Cubans use that term to mean . . . well . . . a female who REALLY appreciates other females, IYKWIMAITYD.

submitted by beelzebub

izify - (rhymes with size'-ih-lie; v.) to wrench an adjective into verbity by tacking on the ancient Greek "-ize," as in "legalize," "marginalize," "urbanize," "formalize," etc. ad nauseam.

e.g., "Can you izify any adjective?" "Pretty much, yeah." "Like _supersize_?" "What?_supers_ is not an adjective." "Oh. Okay: would it be_superize_ then? or_suprize_?!" "I'm gone-ized."

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

iznik - (n.) 1. The true economic foundation of a place famous or well known for something else (e.g., Jerusalem's iznik, despite al Kuds having the most storied history of any city in the world, is essentially tourism and souvenirs); 2. More generically, the foundation of a city's or region's economy. [After the famous 'Kilns of Iznik' in Turkey, the ceramics and fine china of which being the driving force of the city's notoriety during the early middle ages---even though Iznik is the Turkic name for Nicaea, the site of at least three major doctrinal debates and promulgations in the history of the Christian churches.]

e.g., "Alas that this sandy strand, which saw so many hopeless sailors founder, was seen of so many lifeless eyes, should stand now naught but an iznik of shops, meaningless rituals for wealthy tourists, restaurants, guides for hire, and time-shares." | Switzerland's iznik is chocolate and discreet accounting.

submitted by Scott M. Ellsworth

izzgasim - All of a sudden getting happy.

e.g., Don't have an izzgasim just because you passed the test. After all, you did get a D.

submitted by Harley Carter

izzle fashizzle - Being "all that," and then some. Similar to "all that and a bag of chips." The whole izzle-Pig Latin phenomenon has gained recent popularity due to such rap artists as Snoop Dogg putting it into the lexicon. However, the trend was actually started in 1981 by Rapper Frankie Smith in his one-hit wonder "Double Dutch Bus." In it he raps a nonsensical Pig Latin, and a group of children in the song rap back in Pig Latin.

e.g., Dan: If you could have any car, what would it be? Stan: Oh, definitely a DeLorean. That car is the izzle fashizzle, as far as I'm concerned. Dan: It always reminded me of a 1950s Mercedes Benz, with its gull-wing look. The Benz was awesome-looking. They're very popular replicas now.

submitted by Paul

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