Lexicon Magicae: Magic Words and their possible meanings

Did you know there was an infinite library, and somewhere within that library, there’s a book with your name on it? There is.

To get an idea of how it works:

  1. Go to: https://libraryofbabel.info/
  2. Click Browse
  3. Under hex name, type in any random string of characters (alphanumeric, punctuation, but no uppercase etc). Your character string can be any length up to 3260 characters long.
  4. Hit enter


A view of a randomly chosen ‘hex’ in the library…

  1. Click a wall
  2. Click a shelf
  3. Click a volume
  4. Each volume has 410 pages. Choose a page…

You get the idea. For a little background on this concept, see the site’s about page and also read about the author that inspired it.

NOW, are you ready to find the book with your name on it? The one that exists by the sheer force of permutation and infinity? It’s out there…

  1. From the main portal, choose Search.

  2. Type your name in the next space. For instance: Julius Caesar

  3. On the following page of results, scroll to the bottom and under where it says ‘title search,’ click on the location link.

  4. You are now looking the inevitable book in an infinite series of every permutation which happens to have that name.


    Not exactly ‘Gaul is divided into three parts’…

  5. On the right-hand sidebar, click ‘Anglishize.’ This will highlight any word-like strings in the noise. These are your magic words.

This thread is dedicated to the exploration, discovery, and interpretation of magic words. They’re your magic words, because they are in your book (although they may also be in other books…hmmm). Perhaps you place special meaning on the very first word on the first page. Or perhaps the last word? Something beautiful and mysterious hiding inbetween?

What do you think it means, or is it gibberish? If you google that word, what do you find? Maybe you find a few real words. Maybe you need a name for a land or a tribe or a type of weapon in your story…these words can be your inspiration. How else can the Library of Babel be used? Who knows what you might find in those pages…an errant quip of Shakespeare…or perhaps an alien Bard from across the universe…

Please also feel free to post links to other mind-bending websites you find out there (as long as they are not offensive), and how you use them to explore, discover, interpret, and assist in your writing. Slowly, through our discussions of these words, we may build toward a new book, a ‘Lexicon Magicae’ – a book that, of course, already exists within true non-repeating infinity!

Some notable logophiles and erudite polymaths who might find this adventure of interest:

@MagdaThenAndNow @Foldedmaze @awglen @CitizenSamurai @BksbyBkr @WhiskeyJaneDoe @donnaf1828 @lessthanstellar0 @DPArgyle @LucindaRenfield @neilaustin2212 @Nomad76

I’ll start off, with something from my personal book of magic.

teephiyzmtawnacy

This is how my book starts off, the INCIPIT, if you will. Perhaps this incantation should be used to begin a magic spell, and will have special power (or exclusive power) for me. Or I wonder what anagrams it has…Woah, “Pathway Icy Met Zen”

or

“Canape Yet Myth Wiz”

Here’s a good anagram computer, by the way: https://wordsmith.org/anagram/

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Brilliant! I can’t wait to explore the infinite library.

My contribution shall be a collection of lost words, called the Phrontistery. It’s not just a glossary or a thesaurus, but it could be used as either. There are exercises in wordplay, statistics on letter frequency, and a bit of history nestled in unexpected spots. Be sure to enjoy the Growlery, where polls are taken on pronunciation. The creator has been accumulating obscure words (and their meanings) for decades.

When writing I consult the Phrontistery to unstick the habits of thought that I fall into without realizing it. Coming across a new (to me) lost word has often led me down unexpected paths of research and discovery, and helped enrich my writing just by virtue of having learned a bit more about the space between corbels in a parapet, or what it’s called when you smell of goat, or have an obsession with squirrels. Some of the terms will be delightfully familiar to you, but put in a new (older) context. It can be refreshing to discover that there’s actually a word for something that you’ve never given thought to as a concept, before.

And don’t be afraid, it’s not just Latin. This word-hunter has tracked down obscure English words in every flavor, and there are some fine examples of slang and filth for every serving of the prim and proper stuff.

So the next time you’re struck by a bout of scripturience (the violent desire to write), give it a whirl!

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I like the example sentences.

“He watched with helpless horror as the baby carriage labascated down the stairs.”

–by Edward Gorey, apparently

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In Jorge Louis Borges’ (JLB) original story the narrator lives in the infinite library (it is their universe, basically) and observes the different cultures that exist there. One group believes in the existence of the ‘Crimson Hexagon,’ the room in the library that contains not just one incredibly rare meaningful text, but all its books are readable (and therefore) magical. The Library of Babel definitely makes me think of what a journey through it would do to me, maddening, but maybe it is a quest of sorts for that perfect room or secret text.

I searched for my word teephiyzmtawnacy as a title, and found that it has its own book in another place in the library. Seems like a good next logical step in my journey. And yet, if each word in your book is itself a whole book somewhere else, the complexity is staggering…

Other cool words with possible meanings found so far (these from page 9 of the book teephiyzmtawnacy:

Vidoblit - Shorthand for literature of the Vidobs?
Richopply - The name of a wealthy trading city
Seedshox - A fast-growing weed
Duromog - Definitely a demon
Laxopectn - Pharmaceutical drug yet to be invented and subsequently recalled due to rare cases of causing intense fruit-related conspiracies

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How very enchanting! I need to explore this more. Page 395 of my book tells me to Heed: Fry fat lox, ply old elk! Ski a gay fen…win! I love having my fortune told! I’m looking forward to checking out this Phrontistery as well. :slight_smile:

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Funny! You sound hungry and athletic. Some recent finds of mine:

coldbawnmap - just cool
ylkefifean - Of the town Ylkefife
draclewurt - A hardy soup
goowlsyn - Name of a scary place
lobweb - Spiderman’s nickname
wowharpranegg - Ancient Irish placename
icelag - condition right before frostbite
tarylouis - ‘Terry Louis’ ? Does this mean I should find someone named Terry Louis?

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