Helge Kåre Fauskanger, Read in (I was twelve!) The Newspeak Appendix states: “It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded . The Ingsoc logo as represented in the John Hurt film Nineteen Eighty-Four. Newspeak is the language of Oceania, a fictional totalitarian state and the setting of the novel In “The Principles of Newspeak”, the appendix to the novel, George Orwell explains that Newspeak usage follows most of the English grammar, yet. A list of words from the fictional language Newspeak that appears in George Orwell’s Nineteen Newspeak Dictionary, Newspeak words from George Orwell’s including the movie; Searchable Detailed Summary of

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Newspeak was the official language of Oceania and had been devised to meet the ideological needs of Ingsoc, or English Socialism. In the year there was not as yet anyone who used Newspeak as his sole means of communication, either in speech or writing.

List of Newspeak words

The leading articles in the Times were written in it, but this was a tour de force which could only be carried out by a specialist. It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak or Standard English, as we should call it by about the year Meanwhile it gained ground steadily, all Party members tending to use Newspeak words and grammatical constructions more and more in their everyday speech.

The version in use inand embodied in the Ninth and Tenth Editions of the Newspeak Dictionary, was a provisional one, and contained many superfluous words and archaic formations which were due to be suppressed later. It is with the final, perfected version, as embodied in the Eleventh Edition of the Dictionary, that we are concerned here. The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.

It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought — that is, a thought diverging from the principles of Ingsoc — should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meanings and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods.

This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and by stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meanings whatever. To give a single example. Quite apart from the suppression of definitely heretical words, reduction of vocabulary was regarded as an end in itself, and no word that could be dispensed with was allowed to survive.

Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought, and this purpose was indirectly assisted by cutting the choice of words down to a minimum.

Newspeak was founded on the English language as we now know it, though many Newspeak sentences, even when not containing newly-created words, would be barely intelligible to an English-speaker of our own day. Newspeak words were divided into three distinct classes, known as the A vocabulary, the B vocabulary also called compound wordsand the C vocabulary.

It will be simpler to discuss each class separately, but the grammatical peculiarities of the language can be dealt with in the section devoted to the A vocabulary, since the same rules held good for all three categories. The A vocabulary consisted of the words needed for the business of everyday life — for such things as eating, drinking, working, putting on one’s clothes, going up and down stairs, riding in vehicles, gardening, cooking, and the like.

It was composed almost entirely of words that we already possess words like hitrundogtreesugarhousefield — but in comparison with the present-day English vocabulary their number was extremely small, while their meanings were far more rigidly defined.

All ambiguities and shades of meaning had been purged out of them. So far as it could be achieved, a Newspeak word of this class was simply a staccato sound expressing one clearly understood concept. It would have been quite impossible to use the A vocabulary for literary purposes or for political or philosophical discussion. It appencix intended only to express simple, purposive thoughts, usually involving concrete objects or physical actions.


The grammar of Newspeak had two outstanding peculiarities. The first of these was an almost complete interchangeability between different parts of speech. Any word in the language in principle this applied even to very abstract words such as if or when could be used either as verb, noun, adjective, or adverb. Between the verb and the noun form, when they were of the same root, there was never any variation, this rule of itself involving the destruction of many archaic forms.

The word thoughtfor example, did not exist in Newspeak. Its place was taken by appfndixwhich did duty for both noun and verb. No etymological principle was followed here: Even where a noun and verb of kindred meaning were not etymologically connected, one or other of them appendiz frequently suppressed. There was, wppendix example, no such word as cutits meaning being neespeak covered by the noun-verb knife. Adjectives were formed by adding the suffix – ful to the noun-verb, and adverbs by adding – wise.

Certain of our present-day adjectives, such as goodstrongbigblacksoftwere retained, but their total number was very small. There was little need for them, since almost any adjectival meaning could be arrived at by adding – ful to a noun-verb.

The Purpose of Newspeak

None of the now-existing adverbs was retained, except for a very few already ending in – wise: The word wellfor example, was replaced by goodwise. In addition, any word — this again applied in principle to every word in the language — could be negatived by adding the affix un – or could be strengthened by the affix plus – or, for still greater emphasis, doubleplus. It was also possible, as in present-day English, to modify the meaning of almost any word by prepositional affixes such as ante – post – up – down – etc.

By such methods it was found possible to bring about an enormous diminution of vocabulary. Given, for instance, the word goodthere was no need for such a word as badsince the required meaning was equally well — indeed, better — expressed by ungood. All that was necessary, in any case where two words formed a natural pair of opposites, was to decide which of them to suppress.

Darkfor example, could be replaced by unlightor light by undarkaccording to preference. The second distinguishing mark of Newspeak grammar was its regularity. Subject to a few exceptions which are mentioned below all inflexions followed the same rules. Thus, in all verbs the preterite and the past participle were the same and ended in – ed. The preterite of steal was stealedthe preterite of think was thinkedand so on throughout the language, all such forms as swamgavebroughtspoketakenetc.

All plurals were made by adding – s or – es as the case might be. The plurals of manoxlifewere mansoxeslifes. Comparison of adjectives was invariably made by adding – er- est goodgoodergoodestirregular forms and the moremost formation being suppressed. The only classes of words that were still allowed to inflect irregularly were the pronouns, the relatives, the demonstrative adjectives, and the auxiliary verbs.

All of these followed their ancient usage, except that whom had been scrapped as unnecessary, and the shallshould tenses had been dropped, all their uses being covered by will and would. There were also certain irregularities in word-formation arising out of the need for rapid and easy speech. A word which was difficult to utter, or was liable to be incorrectly heard, was held to be ipso facto a bad word: But this need made itself felt chiefly in connexion with the B vocabulary.

Why so great an importance was attached to ease of pronunciation will be made clear later in this essay. The B vocabulary consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: Without a full understanding of the principles of Ingsoc it was difficult to use these words correctly. In some cases they could be translated into Oldspeak, or even into words taken from the A vocabulary, but this usually demanded a long paraphrase and always involved the loss of certain overtones.

The B words were a sort of verbal shorthand, often packing whole ranges of ideas newsepak a few syllables, and at the same time 9184 accurate and forcible than ordinary language. The B words were in all cases compound words 2. They consisted of two or more words, or portions of words, welded together in an easily pronounceable form.

The resulting amalgam was always a noun-verb, and inflected according to the ordinary rules.

Newspeak – Wikipedia

To take a single example: This inflected as follows: The B words were not constructed on any etymological plan. The words of which they were made up could be any parts of speech, and could be placed in any order and nwwspeak in any way which made them easy to pronounce while indicating their derivation.


In the word crimethink thoughtcrimefor instance, the think came second, whereas in thinkpol Thought Police it came first, and in the latter word police had lost its second syllable. Because of the great difficulty in securing euphony, irregular formations were commoner in the B vocabulary than in the A vocabulary. For example, the adjective forms of MinitrueMinipaxand Miniluv were, respectively, MinitruthfulMinipeacefuland Minilovelysimply because – trueful- paxfuland – loveful were sliightly awkward to pronounce.

In principle, however, all B words could inflect, and all inflected in exactly the same way. Some of the B words had highly subtilized meanings, barely intelligible to anyone who had not mastered the language as a whole. Consider, for example, such a typical sentence from a Times leading article as Oldthinkers unbellyfeel Ingsoc.

The shortest rendering that one could make of this in Oldspeak would be: To begin with, in order to grasp nswspeak full appenrix of the Newspeak sentence quoted above, one would have to have a clear idea of what is meant by Ingsoc.

And in addition, only a person thoroughly grounded in Ingsoc could appreciate the full force of the word bellyfeelwhich implied a blind, enthusiastic acceptance difficult to imagine today; or of the word oldthinkwhich was inextricably mixed up with the idea of wickedness and decadence. But the special function of certain Newspeak words, of which oldthink was one, was not so much to express meanings as to destroy them.

These words, necessarily few in number, had had their meanings extended until they contained within themselves whole batteries of words which, as they were sufficiently covered by a single comprehensive term, could now be scrapped and forgotten.

The greatest difficulty facing the compilers of the Newspeak Dictionary was not to invent new words, but, having invented them, to make sure what they meant: As we have already seen in the case of the word freewords which had once borne a heretical meaning were sometimes retained for the sake of convenience, but only with the undesirable meanings purged out of them. Countless other words such as honourjusticemoralityinternationalismdemocracyscienceand religion had simply ceased to exist.

A few blanket words covered them, and, in covering them, abolished them. All words grouping themselves round the concepts of liberty and equality, for instance, were contained in the single word crimethinkwhile all words grouping themselves round the concepts of objectivity and rationalism were contained in the single word oldthink. Greater precision would have been dangerous. He did not need to know that these gods newspesk called Baal, Osiris, Moloch, Ashtaroth, and the like: He knew Jehovah and the commandments of Jehovah: In somewhat the same way, the newspeeak member knew what constituted right conduct, and in exceedingly vague, generalized terms he knew what kinds of departure from it were possible.

His sexual mewspeak, for example, was entirely regulated by the two Newspeak words sexcrime sexual immorality and goodsex chastity. Sexcrime covered all sexual misdeeds whatever. It covered fornication, adultery, appendxi, and other perversions, and, in addition, normal intercourse practised for its own sake. There was no need to enumerate them separately, since they were all equally culpable, and, in principle, all punishable by death.

In the C vocabulary, which consisted of scientific and technical words, it might be necessary to give specialized names to newsleak sexual aberrations, but the ordinary citizen appebdix no need of them. He knew what was meant by goodsex — that is to say, normal intercourse between man and wife, for the sole purpose of begetting children, and without physical pleasure on the part of the woman: In Newspeak appendiz was seldom possible to follow a heretical thought further than the perception that it was heretical: No word in the B vocabulary was ideologically neutral.

Apprndix great many were euphemisms. Such words, for instance, as joycamp forced-labour camp or Minipax Ministry of Peace, i.

Ministry of War meant almost the exact opposite of what they appeared to mean. Some words, on the other hand, displayed a apendix and contemptuous understanding of the real nature of Oceanic society.