The Weird Kid’s Missing Word

The father of a high school friend referred to me as “the strange little girl who lives down the street.” I have no idea why he thought I was weird, because I’m sure every girl looks up the last word in the dictionary just before their hormones kick in and boy-thoughts invade the brain.

I still remember what the word was: zyzzym. It was such a cool word, with all those z’s like bees buzzing just before they landed on their m’s.

I don’t remember what zyzzym meant, but the word has been stuck in my head for decades. Now this would be a really cool memory except for one thing — I can’t prove it. The word went AWOL and I cannot find zyzzym in any dictionary or online.

I’ve even searched old dictionaries in Google books, but as far as I can tell, there’s never been a word zyzzym or anything close to it. So why do I have such a powerful memory of looking up the last word in the dictionary, the word being zyzzym, and remembering that word for more than 40 years, only to find there’s no such word?

Even my word processor denies the word, flagging it as a misspelling. Surely if zyzzym was a real word, I’d have found evidence somewhere? The internet exposes all, right?

If there are any word nerds left in the world, and you happen to know where my missing word went, I sure would appreciate if you’d let me in on the big secret!

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