Ghost word: A word that has no real existence is called a ghost word. Many believe most ghost words resulted because of a printing error, misreading or miscommunication. For example, Gravy – this became a word because a translator in the 14th century misread a cookbook written in French. The original word in French was grane (related to grain and meaning anything to do with cooking), but grane changed to gravy when the English started to translate French cookbooks and introduced a scribal error. Gravy today sounds like a perfect word to us.