It doesn’t happen often, not when I’m reading fiction anyway.
I got hit with a word this week that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. And, silly me, I thought it might be a typo, so I stopped immediately and looked it up. Had I kept reading to the end of the sentence, I would have gleaned its meaning from the context.
But still, it was a surprise to see a completely unfamiliar word tucked into the pages (pixels actually, but whatever) of a paranormal romance. (Real paranormal, by the way. Ghosts. Mind control. Things going bump in the night. No sparkly vampires to be seen!)
The word in question: Loided.
According to Dictionary.com, Loid means to open a locked door by using a piece of celluloid or plastic to spring the latch.
In other words, it’s using a credit card to jimmy the lock!
The term probably originated in the late 50s, and obviously comes from a shortening of the word celluloid, that old-fangled stuff we used to call film. It’s a little like plastic, but made of entirely different materials.
Apparently, some kinds of film are (or used to be) stiff and heavy enough to pop a latch on a door. Who knew?
So next time you’re writing a heist story set in the 60s, you have a great new word you can weave into your story.