What’s better than an ordinary compound word?
Well, I can easily think of hundreds of items, but for this column the answer is compound words that are made up of three words.
Heretofore you may not have thought much about these words, nevertheless I will explain my love for them inasmuch as possible so that whosoever reads this will also love these words forevermore.
I enjoy the idea that some words are just three words smashed together for reasons I don’t completely understand, while others only pretend to be three words pushed together, which is a fun example.
Together is not a triple compound word, but it always look to me like it is because of the advice one of my elementary school teachers gave me when I was trying to learn to spell the 8-letter word. She told me to remember that the group went out together to get her, which was mind-blowing to my geeky, younger self.
Anyway, here are a few examples of triple compound words and a few of their fake friends.
Nevertheless – A great word that means “despite anything to the contrary,” but also means notwithstanding. Also, the word nevertheless evolved from the earlier word of neverthelater, which was probably created before the invention of space between words.
Nonetheless – Very similar to nevertheless, but still uniquetheless.
Natheless – Another older word that means the same as nevertheless.
Scatheless – While it looks like it would be a poorly spelled way of saying that something is without ska music, it actually means without harm or unscathed. I like how sneaky that word is, though.
Woebegone – I appreciate the word woebegone, which means sad or miserable in appearance, even though it seems like the woe should be gone. The “begone” portion means surrounding, and this is apparently just a sneaky double compound word and not a triple word. It seems like we should also have words like happybegone or boredombegone, and I think Hungrybegone would be a great name for a restaurant.
Albeit – This excellent word means although and originated from although it be. It is also related to several other enjoyable but lesser known triple words.
Howbeit –It also means although, howbeit it is somehow different.
Sobeit – I didn’t know it was a word. It apparently means “as long as” and is another great triple compound to use if you are trying to shorten your word count.
Counterclockwise – I can’t decide if this is two words or three, and I honestly sometimes can’t remember which direction it is, but I am still quite fond of counterclockwise.
Inasmuch – This seems like it would be much better as three words, inasmuch as I might know about grammar.
Insofar – A word with similar meaning to inasmuch, and is inasconfusing about why it is one word and not three.
Whatsoever and its siblings – This word’s family is ever so large as it includes Wheresoever, Whosesoever, Whosoever, Whichsoever, Howsoever and even Whithersoever.
Nowadays – People don’t use this word as much nowadays.
Hereupon – I think we can all agree that I have talked about this far too long, so hereupon I will let you think up your own triple compound words. If you think up any good ones, please paste them in the comments below. Hopefully, we’ll have a smorgasbord of words. Thanks.