Recently I encountered three interesting, new-to-me words and word phrases: gender resistance (source: NPR), helicopter parenting (source: online article about bullying) and gynobibliophobia (source: Paul McFeries's Word Spy blog, while I was looking for a term to use for my post title.) I jotted down all three because they intrigued me, and I'm almost sure I'll use the first two in conversation if not fiction. As interesting as gynobibliophobia is, though, it sounds like a fear of gynecologists with books, or books with gynecologists, not the meaning it was given (a dislike of women writers.)
When you want to invent some new stuff for your wordrobe, you should always keep in mind that coined words must be comprehensible not only to you but anyone who reads them (and remember, you're probably not going to be there with the reader to explain things.) Wordnut Randy Parker blogs here about inventing an advertising term for a commercial client, and mentions how to do this: Most of the time, words coined in advertising are combinations of existing words or parts of words, so that the meanings are still understood. This is really the first law of word-coining for any field.
You may be hesitant to dive into adding new things to your wordrobe, but coining words becomes easier with practice, too. I found a simple random word generator with an option to choose the level of obscurity, and began generating nouns and combining them into words and phrases with my own definitions. In ten minutes I had put together these seven:
Fumetruth: the honesty we display when we are furious
Fuzzyshed: pilled bits that have come off an old sweater in the wash
Honesty Hell:: where we end up when we tell the truth a little too often
Inkclaim: a hand-written deed proving ownership of property on a fantasy world
Joydump: what a person who has had remarkable luck gives you in the process of informing you about it
Maze-Minded: someone whose thought processes are lengthy, convoluted and rarely provide results
Sigh Processor: someone who always tries to interpret the meaning behind the non-verbal sounds you make.
When you coin words for stories, look at your worldbuilding, your characterizations and details from your plot. These are all excellent sources of keywords and concepts, some of which will jump out at you when you're thinking about words to invent. Once you've made a list of the words that have the most appeal to you, start playing with them. Chop them up, recombine them and see what happens. I like fusing two words together to form a new/third meaning, but I'm also an anagram junkie.
What's in your wordrobe?