Frindle Questions and Answers
by Andrew Clements

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What are three things that inspire Nick Allen in Andrew Clements's Frindle?

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As a creative thinker, Nick draws on a lot of inspiration in order to invent his new word frindle in Andrew Clements' story. He draws on inspiration from his teacher Mrs. Granger, his friend Janet, and a news anchorman.

Nick's first inspiration is Mrs. Granger's response when he asks, "Who decides what words should mean?" Mrs. Granger responds,

Who says dog means dog? You do, Nicholas. You and I and everyone in this class and this town and this state and this country. We all agree (28).

Hearing that he has the authority to decide the meanings of words inspires Nick to exercise his authority to make up his own word.

His second inspiration is when his friend Janet finds a gold pen. While walking home from school together, playing a game in which they are only allowed to walk along the curb, Nick keeps thinking about how Mrs. Granger said he has the power to determine meanings of words. When Janet jumps off the curb to pick up an expensive gold pen she sees, Nick is instantly inspired to call it something other than a pen; he calls it a frindle, which is the moment his new made-up word is born.

His third point of inspiration is the word quiz. While watching the news report on CBS given about his made-up word, he hears the news anchorman give the history of the word "quiz." According to the anchorman, the word was made up in 1791 when a theater manager in Dublin "bet someone that he could invent a brand-new word in the English language" (66). The news anchorman further makes the following inspiring comment:

Quiz is the only word in English that was invented by one person for no particular reason—that is until now. Now there is a new word, frindle, and here is Alice Lunderson in Westfield, New Hampshire, with the story (67).

Learning the word "quiz" was invented for no reason helps Nick feel inspired to continue using his own made-up word.

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