This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Ogooglebar: a rant.

People in Sweden have been using the word ogooglebar.

An ogooglebar is something which is impossible, or very difficult, to find via a search engine.

Presumably someone in Sweden made up the word, other people found it useful, and now it's embedded itself in the Swedish language.

It must be clear to the meanest intelligence that any attempt to expunge the word from the language would be either the work of a mad dictator or...well, just someone mad.

Now, the members of the Swedish Language Council seem to be a helpful bunch. They make recommendations about Swedish  spelling and grammar, and they also put out an annual list of new Swedish words. The 2012 list, for instance, included henifiera, which means using the neutral hen instead of han and hon, which mean he and she.

Ogooglebar appeared on the Swedish Language Council's most recent list: but this has caused such tantrums from the people at Google that the word has had to be removed.

The trouble is that people use ogooglebar to mean unable to be found via a search engine, and Google want it to mean unable to be found via the Google search engine.

Now, do you see what I mean about madness? For one thing, the word is out there and so it's too late. For another, having a word for unable to be found via the Google search engine just draws attention to the fact that the Google search engine might be worse than others.

Right, so do you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to use ogooglebar at every possible opportunity.

I may even sing it to myself while hoovering, in my jacuzzi, and eating my graham cracker. And always while wearing my leotard and my mackintosh.

(Do you see what I did, there?)

And, hey, you at Google! Just think: you may have just thrown away your chance of immortality.

Word To Use Today: ogooglebar. Pleasingingly, when I searched on Google for "derivation" "ogooglebar" I got no relevant results at all.


  1. You could also say the English equivalent, which is 'ungoogleable'.

    Google's actions on this are ridiculous - in trying to impose a meaning upon a word. If a Google had come to mean an ice cream, a type of hat or anything else, there's precious little Google can do about it. Dictionaries only reflect what people say - they don't impose it.

    The biggest thing in all of this is that Google has made itself look very, very petty indeed. The story of how it did so needs to be told far and wide.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ed.

    I'm doing my best!

    I now discover that google is an obscure form of goggle (which originally meant to squint) and that googul is an aromatic gum-resin.

    They can't touch you for it, you know...

  3. Too hilarious for words this whole thing....I love OGOOGLEBAR...think we should adopt it in English. Better than Ungoogleable!