v. To recover from a state of confusion or disorganization.
recombobulation n.

Example Citations:
My heart was gladdened by an official-looking sign in the Milwaukee airport, just beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, hanging over where you put your shoes and coat back on and stuff your laptop back in the case: The sign said, "Recombobulation Area." The English language gains a new word. Recombobulate, America. Pull yourself together, tie your shoelaces, and if your pilot is wearing a button that says "To hell with the FAA," wait for the next flight.
—Garrison Keillor, "Running on anger," Chicago Tribune, January 27, 2010

I needed the second half of the week to recombobulate myself after an hour in the company of Don Draper and the Mad Men.
—Chitra Ramaswamy, "Our writers' week," Scotland on Sunday, February 15, 2009

Earliest Citation:
If you find this happening, put your weight on your outside ski and ride that until you're recombobulated and back on course.
—Margaret Bennett, How to ski just a little bit, Simon and Schuster, January 1, 1970

This word is a smile-inducing play on discombobulate, which has been a paid-in-full member of the language since at least 1839. (The always thorough Oxford English Dictionary lists an 1838 citation for discombobberate, as well as an 1834 cite for discombobracated; I think I'll try and sneak that last one into the next book I write.) As you can see in the earliest citation, recombobulate isn't all that new (and is way older than the standard Word Spy fare), and is probably even older than that citation suggests. However, the word has had a resurgence in recent years thanks to the heart-lightening "Recombobulation Area" signs that have been spotted in various airports to designate post-security-check places to get yourself and your stuff together again.

Related Words: