Chapter 6 Summary
After his report, Nick walks home with his friend Janet Fisk. The two of them play a game in which they walk along a curb and try not to fall off. Whenever one of them steps off the curb, the other gets a point.
Partway home, Janet finds an expensive gold pen on the ground. She stops their game for a moment to pick it up.
As Nick walks along the curb, he thinks about what Mrs. Granger said about words. Mrs. Granger said that he, Nick, decides what words mean. Nick tries to understand that. He thinks back to when he was little, before he really knew how to talk. He used to point to a tape recorder and say “gwagala” when he wanted his parents or brother to switch it on so he could hear music. He called music "gwagala" until he got to preschool and realized that he had to use the word "music" if he wanted teachers or the other kids to understand. "Gwagala" was a word Nick made up, but it had meaning for him and his family.
As Nick thinks about this, he begins to understand what Mrs. Granger meant. Forgetting to watch where he is going, he bumps into Janet, who falls off the curb and drops her new pen. “No fair!” she says, because she does not want to lose a point in their game. Nick apologizes and picks up her pen. He holds it out and says, “Here’s your...frindle.”
Janet is confused. She wants to know what a "frindle" is. Instead of explaining, Nick tells her she will find out. He runs home, making a plan in his head as he goes.
After school the next day, Nick goes to the store and asks for a frindle. The clerk has no idea what Nick means, but Nick refuses to explain. He points to a shelf full of ball-point pens, and then the clerk understands. Nick pays for the pen and leaves.
Daily for the next several days, Nick sends a different kid to the same store to ask for a frindle. Janet is the last kid to go, and when she asks for a frindle, the store clerk reaches straight for the pens. Nick, who is watching from the candy aisle, grins.
Nick and his friends go to his house. All of them sign an oath:
From this day on and forever, I will never use the word PEN again. Instead, I will use the word FRINDLE, and I will do everything possible so others will, too.
Nick feels he has made "frindle" into a real word. He made it up, and people use it to communicate, all thanks to Mrs. Granger.