Why you should add “honkenbonkers” to your vocabulary

Jim Spencer, Reed Elenz and Erin Cargile sporting Honkenbonkers shirts

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Honkenbonkers. Yes, it sounds a little funny.  But when it rolls off your tongue, it is usually followed with a smile.

“It was just something I said accidentally to make my friends laugh, and it kinda grew from there,” said Reed Elenz, a senior at Austin High School.

That was about a year and a half ago. The word is now part of everyday conversation among his classmates.

“If you just see [Reed] in the hallway, you just give him a fist bump [and say] honkenbonkers,” said Lorenzo Mantia, 18.

It was accepted in Webster’s Open Dictionary online where more non-traditional words live.

The 18-year-old also created honkenbonkers.com where you can learn more about the history of the word, watch a video and buy t-shirts to help advertise the word.

Another big moment for Elenz was finding the word mentioned in an article in the Wall Street Journal. A linguist predicted it would be one of the new words we’ll be saying in 2015.

So what does it mean? Amazing and awesome rolled into one.

“You could say something simple like, ‘that was Honkenbonkers,’ or ‘this homework — it’s not honkenbonkers,”‘ said Elenz.

In all honesty, Elenz thought he would be the last person to create vocabulary.

“I’m very dyslexic, and I think it’s pretty cool that I’m the one making up a word,” said Elenz.

The 13-letters are opening doors. Elenz has gotten invites from a U.S Congressman and a U.S Senator to share his story at events to help increase awareness about the reading disorder.

He has enjoyed the opportunity to give back, and spread the word.


KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s