Sufficiently Serensified

I heard from somebody in Chicago who was googling the interwebs for a definition of “surensified” and found a post I made to blogger back in November of 2006. Rosie Real says she decorated her kitchen to look like a 50’s diner and wanted to make up a sign asking her guests, “Has your sufficiency been surensified?” Rosie said her grandfather often used the phrase, “My sufficiency is surensified!” after a delicious, satisfying meal.

My father used the same phrase, but I’d always assumed it was a gobbledygook word. After several other googlers commented on my web post, though, it was obvious that the word was a well-used, in spite of the fact that it doesn’t appear in any dictionary (except the THUD, of course).

The word appears as serensified, serrancified, suffancified, suffulsified and many other variations. It appears to be a conflation of serenity and satisfied, or sufficient and satisified, and in every example that’s turned up it’s always been in the past tense.

Examples were at first centered around the Great Lakes region but the word is also popular in the Appalacians and on both coasts. The word seems to have spread so far and wide as the result of being loaded in a highly-polished phrase that almost pegs the needle on the Purple Prose-O-Meter:

My sufficiency has been serensified. Any addition would be purely detrimental to my delicate constitution.

Variations, of course, have kept the phrase alive:

All of my sufficiencies have been suffulsified and any further indulgence on my part may well prove to be super sanctimonious

This one’s my favorite (from jazz musician Brandon Schmidt, see sources below):

My sufficiency is suffonsified and further indulgence would prove injurious to my gastronomical salubrication.

Sources

Radio:

A Way With Words

Fiction:

“Are you sufficiently sophonsified?” — Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye, 1988. The characters are teenagers in the 1940′s.

“Has your insufficiency been sufficiently serensified?” — Jackie, Flesh and Blood, undated

“Nesbitt’s flock, satiated with holiness and serensified with love, would wend their ways back home.” — Madison Hill, writing for National Novel Writing Month, undated

Music:

Cunning Dorx, Paradigms Suffonsified

3H, Exploration Room, featuring the track “Sufficiently Serensified”

Jazz musician Brandon Schmidt of Los Angeles, CA, My Sufficiency is Suffonsified and Further Indulgence Would Prove Injurious to My Gastronomical Salubrication

Blogs:

Dawn Smith-Pfeifer writes a monthly column for the North Dakota Farm Bureau web site and used the phrase, “My sufficiency has been serensified” to demonstrate something called Immense Utterance Syndrome.

Karen Edmisten thought the phrase “I have eaten diabolically and I am highly serensified” was worth noting in her blog.

Ruth Gaeta wrote to the web site World Wide Words asking for help with “my sufficiency is serrancified” which brought up the variations suffancified and suffoncified.

Blogging from the Yukon, Janet spelled it “suffulsified” until she was corrected by one of her friends.

This Canadian blogger calls her web blog Suffonsifisms!

… and there are twenty or thirty iterations of the question “What does it mean: Sufficiently Serensified?” posted on the Words & Wordplay message board of answers.yahoo.com

Saturday, September 11th, 2010 at 12:10 pm CDT
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