230,000 real sounding “fake” words

The list is available under a Creative Commons license, and can be viewed and downloaded here.

The list of real sounding “fake” words used for the new Apps 4  EFL activity “Fight the Fakes” is now available for download.

The list was generated by looping through each of the words from the SIL list and splitting them into three-letter chunks. A Markov chain process was then used to determine which of the three letter chunks were most likely to precede or follow each other. The three-letter chunks were then recombined according to these likelihoods in order to create realistic sounding neologisms of various lengths, e.g.

  • generotizing
  • liminativate
  • coronably
  • solarians
  • troscorifyingly

The words were doubled checked against the SIL list to ensure no real words were accidentally generated.

Fun ways to teach with the words

  • Try the new Apps 4 EFL activity Fight the Fakes, which uses the words as distractors against low frequency items from the BNC
  • Ask your students to try and invent “definitions” for the fake words based on what they sound like, e.g. “hispanelist (n.), chat show panelist from Latin America”, “mandibilious (adj.), used to describe an animal with extraordinarily strong jaws”, “rattlesnatcher (n.), a person who goes around stealing toys from small children”
  • Use them as in Yes/No vocabulary knowledge tests to ensure students don’t cheat by clicking “Yes, I know this word” for every item

2 thoughts on “230,000 real sounding “fake” words

  1. How about:
    lispanelist (n.), chat show panelist with a slight speech impediment
    mandfabulous (adj.) extravagantly gay with a strong jawline
    rattlesnatcher (n.), a lady whose lady-parts jangle


  2. ThankGod! This article is exactly what I was looking for. How about we mention our Fake Word Generator in this page to make it easy for users to make full use of Fake Words. Take a look here at Fake Word Generator by Wordigram.
    If there is possibility to add it in your article it will be really great for everyone.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.