Two Words: Pandemonium & Pandelerium

Pandemonium and Pandelerium

Pandemonium is a real word and used to describe a state of confusion, disorder, often paired with loud noise.  A good synonym is the word uproar which would combine the states of disturbance.  Another excellent way to describe pandemonium is the synonyms chaos, turmoil, havoc, bedlam, and tumult.  Any of these words evoke the vision of events that surround a state of pandemonium.

“The fans were so overcome with joy at the team’s victory that the celebration was pure pandemonium.”

The word pandemonium first appeared in 1667 in John Milton’s Paradise Lost and referenced the Capitol of Hell where demons and devils lived.  The word is derived from Greek with “pan” indicating a broad region or depression, and “demonium” referring to devils or demons.

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Pandelerium is not a word, unless you are a fan of the comedian Jeff Foxworthy.  Foxworthy coined the word in one of his comedy routines where a woman in a trailer park was asked to describe the tornado that hit the park.  She replied: “It was pandelerium!” 

We assume that she and Foxworthy were referring to a nonexistent contraction of the words pandemonium and delirium.  From our earlier articles we know this would also be known as a portmanteau, if it were in general use and an accepted contraction.