Addicted to novelty since 2001

Ingenuine Isn’t a Word?

Whiskey tango foxtrot. I’ve been using ‘ingenuine’ for years. I’ve apparently used it nine times on this site. And yesterday my spell checker indicated that it wasn’t a word. Poppycock! I checked Nope. I checked Merriam-Webster. Nada. I even visited the bookshelf and checked my massive (steady, steady) OED. No joy.

Clearly I’m a buffoon. What is the appropriate antonym to ‘genuine’? Ungenuine? Agenuine? Nongenuine? No such version of ‘genuine’ exists. This antonym finder suggests ‘insincere’.

Google has a mere 19,100 mentions of the non-word. Just me and 19,000 other illiterates, I imagine.

What other words do I use that don’t actually exist? Bogosity (thank you, Joe)? Awesomeified? Automagical? The list goes on.

65 Responses to “Ingenuine Isn’t a Word?”

  1. Christopher D. Osborn

    Don’t feel bad at all, I use “ingenuine” all the time too. That’s how I found your website.

    I have discovered that “disingenuous” is meant to be the antonym of genuine, but I don’t buy it. It doesn’t seem like it exactly fits.

    The free online dictionary lists it like this:


    lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

    I think this word is too broad. I’m with Todd Sieling “It’s all about perseverance.” I will continue using “ingenuine” and hope some day it’s not only on, but in Oxford too.

  2. Evan

    I’m with Dan: “Inauthentic”.

    “Disingenuous” relates to a lack of sincerity rather than authenticity and, as such, isn’t an exact antonym to “genuine”.

  3. kim

    I must say I’m heartened that this is even a discussion.

    I just heard the word out of the mouth of a bachelorette while watching E, and cringed. I cringe to admit I was watching that. I knew instantly the word she meant to use was disingenuous. If that tells you anything about my age, it should. If you don’t know how to properly use a big word, don’t use a big word. You only make yourself look stupid. Like saying irregardless when you mean regardless.

    Then, I started to doubt myself. Is it a word? Then I found your blog and discussion. Then I started to deeply think about the language.

    This is nothing more than anthropology. This is called living language. There are plenty of dead peoples and dead languages too.

    I’m quite sure that Shakespeare would have thought Jan Austen took too many liberties with the English language. It’s all a matter of history and progress.

    Go forward youth! Make the new language. But please use caution.

    That being said: Please stop confusing supposedly for supposably.

    And for sure, the word FLAMMABLE on the side of a truck you don’t want to run into used to say inflammable. Inflammable meant it would catch on fire in a big ball of flames. As in able to me inflamed; therefore engulfed in flames. Then really stupid people though it meant it wouldn’t catch fire so they changed it.

    The best changers of the language are the people who respect and follow the rules first, then break them. Like Tom Wolfe. The new journalism master. He knew and adhered to the style book of the New York Times, then once he was respected and published, broke all the rules with “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test”.

  4. David

    If you read this – you are going to read the most profound answer – that is IF you are truly “switched on”, ie. with an internationalist’s mind.
    English is becoming my second language… French is not my first… HOWEVER, do you know ‘ingénue’ en Française!? IF you do, well, I give you thumbs up and as one of the world’s best guessers, guessing YOU HAVE made the mistake from INTELLIGENCE! You have simply, subconsciously projected ingénue (as it’s a FANTASTIC word) onto ingenious. You’ve got a lot of people saying a lot of (maybe kinda) interesting, half arsed intellectual things, but it takes this great contra-anarcho-fascist-AutoRenaissance man, me, for the definitive answer/s. And if I’m wrong – brilliance like this don’t cum without such extremes of audacity so I need not your forgiveness. Nuff said… Except, oh shit, you simply shove a prefix where you see fit? Well, let’s hope I go to my grave being as generous as I was, and still with hope that there be more truly brilliant people, instead of not!
    PS. yes, despite shitting on people as a way to further intelligence, (debate – the only way to move forward) – I am a true Ingénue in most other ways.

  5. king

    PEOPLE words like most al other things are created and spell checkers were created and so were words we use today yesterday and tomorrow and by yesterday I don’t mean literally yesterday or tomorrow I mean past present and future.words were created in the past and are being created today and there will still be more creations going on after all of you who have posted here are long dead now to be perfectly clear I’m going to lay this out one more time things were created by us by nature and by some unexplainable forces out there somewhere now the word sounds perfectly fine to me and I like it if you don’t like it don’t POST ANOTHER STUPID COMMENT here we are humans just like those who have lived before us and we have every bit of right they had to create our own things,words,places and so on now I hope I made myself clear thank and have a good nigh…..

  6. Dayana

    Ingenuine is a word. But other antonyms for genuine would be fake or synthetic.

  7. Cliff

    American English is a colloquially driven language. This means that there is no authority to which to turn for the meaning spelling pronunciation, existence etc., of any word. Dictionaries are merely the efforts of lexicographers to keep pace with common usage.

    ERGO; no one can tell you that ingenuine is not a word. The only thing they can do is not use it.
    Shizzam and fhashizzlemadrizzle~!!

  8. Suanne Bagne

    omg! can’t picture how rapidly time pass, following August, ber months time already and Setempber may be the 1st Christmas season in my place, I actually really like it!

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