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is this used outside of a single episode of the simpsons?--Vladisdead 08:06, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

No. It was invented as an example of a non-word, which suggests that it does not belong in a dictionary. — Paul G 11:17, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I'm almost sure it was used in two Simpsons episodes.  ;)
I would, though, say the meaning is closer to "authentic" than "correct" (one line was Yes, he's embiggened that role with his cromulent performance.)—the definition here has a few problems actually. It does appears over 11,000 times in Google; its appearance on the show brought it directly into slang. —Muke Tever 14:38, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Well, I would say it falls under the category of slang. I do hear it used, though admittedly not often. I guess it's part of the bigger issue of if slang and other non-official words should be included in the Wiktionary project. I for one would say yes, let the wiki be as flexible as the language is. CGP —This unsigned comment was added by CGP (talkcontribs) at 11:26, 27 June 2004 (UTC).

The characterization of "cromulent" as a nonce-word is more appropriate than slang. It was invented for a particular occasion. The etymology may be from the Dutch krom or the German krumm, meaning "crooked" or "bent", but which in turn has such strange derviative expressions such as zich krom lachen, krom spreken and zich krom werken. This etymology is speculative, and should not be a part of the article without further verification. Groening's ancestry was Mennonite German, and he spoke German (perhaps a low German) at home when he was young.
The word is definitely a word. It belongs here. It is a part of contemporary literature just as much as the vocabulary of Jabberwocky is a well-rooted part of 19th century literature. We are fortunate that there is no such thing as an "English Academy" to rule on the officialese of words. This strengthens the view of a dictionary being a descriptive process instead of a presciptive book of rules that dictates the legitimacy of words.
Eclecticology 18:53, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Ah, good, so it can be labelled as a nonce word then. — Paul G 16:11, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Cromulent has 282,000 googles. (Which means people may need to look it up to so they can understand what they are reading online). RJFJR 15:56, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I have often heard this word used ironically to actually mean "dubious" or "incorrect", especially to describe words such as "embigggen". 02:18, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I imagine that this would likely be by people who did not understand the original use. -- 15:34, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Proposed concise definition[edit]

I have come up with what may be the most concise definition on the internet:

 An illegitimate word used to describe something as ironically legitimate.

Written by me, Yama Anonymous 15:42, 02 November 2007

Also, to answer some of the [above] questions-- YES it is used in academia, even:

—This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) at 22:45, 2 November 2007 (UTC).

Excellent, realistic or authentic[edit]

"He's embiggened that role with his cromulent performance." Okay, Skinner says this in the Simpsons episode, but to define it as "excellent, realistic or authentic" is mere guesswork, trying to work out what meaning might fit the sentence. Is this really acceptable here? 23:42, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Why "not comparable"?[edit]

Why is cromulent listed as "not comparable"? All of the potential synonyms of cromulent are comparable (you can be more realistic, more authentic, more acceptable, etc). —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) at 13:27, 22 October 2008 (UTC).

Because the word cromulent happens to not be comparable; not all words are equal.Tesseraction 05:42, 4 June 2009 (UTC)


Surely the word is valid?
"It's a perfectly valid word"
"He's embiggened that role with his valid performance. "
The second one may not flow that well, but is still perfectly cromulent.
—This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) at 18:55, 29 January 2009 (UTC).

Accidentally stumbled across a real-world usage[edit] -- "The source builtin is more popular among former C shell programmers, while the period (.) version is more popular among Bourne shell purists. Both versions are perfectly cromulent, however." —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) at 16:15, 17 February 2009 (UTC).

coined by Simpsons or Blackadder?[edit]

See . Apparently the word was used on Blackadder in 1987, Simpsons in 1996? —This unsigned comment was added by Gcapell (talkcontribs) at 02:38, 23 February 2009 (UTC).

I'm vaguely familiar with that Blackadder episode Ink and Inkability, and I remember that Blackadder attempts to confuse the writer of the first dictionary by using a lot of dubious words. I don't remember cromulent being in it. Perhaps somebody misheard? Equinox 02:42, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
The myth that "cromulent" was one of the words keep circulating. (It is, btw, Ink and Incapability) This is the exchange:

Dr. Samuel Johnson: [places two manuscripts on the table, but picks up the top one] Here it is, sir. The very cornerstone of English scholarship. This book, sir, contains every word in our beloved language.
Blackadder: Every single one, sir?
Dr. Samuel Johnson: Every single word, sir!
Blackadder: Oh, well, in that case, sir, I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafribularities.
Dr. Samuel Johnson: What?
Blackadder: "Contrafribularities", sir? It is a common word down our way.
Dr. Samuel Johnson: Damn! [writes in the book]
Blackadder: Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I'm anispeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such pericombobulation.

To which the argument is made that Atkinson didn't follow the script, and did say "cromulent", but no-one seems able to produce any proof. (A youtube clip would do nicely, but apparently Atkinson did follow the script.) Robert Ullmann 07:19, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

This clip makes it clear he says "common," not 'cromulent.' Tesseraction 05:58, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

The clip linked above has been removed from YouTube. This clip is likely the same segment.

RFV discussion[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

Please do not re-nominate for verification without comprehensive reasons for doing so.


I believe this can probably be cited. But given the nature of the word, I also believe it needs to be cited; specifically, per CFI, it requires 3 durable cites for each sense which are independent of The Simpsons. -- Visviva 17:48, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Note that this was kept—Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Archives/2006/05#cromulent—as a nonce used in a well-known work, not requiring any other citations. It would be nice to find a few if we can, but it is not required to keep. Robert Ullmann 18:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Missed that, thanks. But that's bizarre. If a Simpsons episode counts as a well-known work for CFI purposes, then surely all Harry Potter, Star Trek and Star Wars coinages would be acceptable too. I thought the only well-known works we admitted were Shakespeare, Milton, and the like. -- Visviva 02:02, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
This is not a general opening for all words in such series, or even for words coined on The Simpsons. The word in this case was a deliberate coinage for the purposes of humor which then acquired a life of its own. Thomas Jefferson is creditted with coining belittle, and the episode aluded to that fact by creditting Springfield's founder with coining embiggen. When the "realness" of that word is called into question in an aside comment, a character replies that it's "a prefectly cromulent word". In other words, the word had attention deliberately drawn to it as a word, and it has since delevoped a mystique of its own. This isn't true for most other words used on the Simpsons, or for words coined in other series. --EncycloPetey 18:38, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't know where you're getting that from. I don't see anything in the RFD discussion to suggest that any of those were considerations. (It's true that one can make the distinctions you describe, but what has that got to do with anything?) —RuakhTALK 22:38, 28 February 2009 (UTC)
You've jumped the track. The question from Visviva was about the larger issue for the future, not about what happened in the RFD discussion. --EncycloPetey 16:26, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
No, he was quite explicit — if our reason for allowing cromulent is that episodes of The Simpsons are well-known works, then the same applies to all Harry Potter, Star Trek and Star Wars coinages. Now, we can go back and re-evaluate that decision, and find a different rationale for allowing cromulent while rejecting others; and you've provided some good arguments we could use in forming that rationale. But unless you're actually suggesting that we do so, it's irrelevant. —RuakhTALK 17:22, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Now cited independently of The Simpsons. -- Visviva 16:04, 12 March 2009 (UTC)


What does "see 1996 quotation" mean? There's no quotation here. -- 15:36, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

There is a quotation — several, in fact. Do you see, to the right of the definition, something that looks like [quotations ▼]? Click on it to see the quotations. —RuakhTALK 15:42, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
I cannot find any, either. Does the display of quotations rely on user-side script execution? 14:14, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Try a modern browser with default settings. Equinox 14:26, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
Both the original hiding and the appearance of the added [quotations ▼] button rely on user-side script execution. Users that don't have js enabled don't have the quotes hidden in the first place. --Yair rand (talk) 17:04, 6 December 2012 (UTC)
I just got here by wondering where the heck the 1996 quotation was, too. Can't see the quotations link in Safari, Firefox or Chrome on my Mac, nor in IE11 in a virtual Windows 8.1 machine; Javascript is enabled in all of them, and my browsers are pretty vanilla, settings- and extension-wise. If I search the page source in Safari, the only reference to the word "quotation" is "see 1996 quotation". If I *edit* the page I can see the quotations, but I don't know enough about Wiktionary markup to fix whatever's wrong... Gothick (talk) 16:39, 20 February 2014 (UTC)
I can see it fine - Google Chrome under Windows XP. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:07, 20 February 2014 (UTC)


I don't have a citation (this being spoken in my hearing), but I've encountered the noun "cromulence" - which obviously names the property shared by cromulent things that makes them so (fineness, acceptability, normality, excellence, etc.).

A cognate is a term that is inherited from a common ancestor and has become different by the processes of language change- analogous to cousins in the realm of genealogy. The word "cromulence" would be derived from "cromulent", or at most derived from the same source, so would be like a child or a sibling.
I would put cromulence under a "Derived terms" header, if it really does exist. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:43, 23 February 2014 (UTC)