Thursday, December 23, 2010

Word Play

A friend sent this to me so I thought I’d share.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

• Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

• Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole..

• Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

• Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

• Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

• Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

• Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

• Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

• Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

• Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

• Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

• Decafalon (n.: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

• Glibido : All talk and no action.

• Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

• Arachnoleptic Fit (n.: The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

• Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

• Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:
• Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

• Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

• Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

• Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

• Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

• Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

• Lymph, v.. To walk with a lisp.

• Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

• Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

• Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

• Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

• Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

• Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

• Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

• Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

• Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men


  1. Those are excellent! Although I've known of the bozone layer for years.

  2. I love these! I can't decide which one's my favorite - cashtration or ignoranus.

  3. These are hilarious! I was gonna pick a favorite, but I can't.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Fun! Some of these were hilarious. I hear one a while ago - instigator: instant alligator. Just add water.

  5. Great list. Intaxicaton was my favorite.

  6. It's hard to choose, isn't it? Some were funny and some were so spot-on it makes you wonder why they aren't actual words in the dictionary.

  7. Hilarious - I laughed all the way through this! :)

  8. Loved the list! Have a Happy Holiday!

  9. I love coffee and intaxication. Ha!

    Merry Christmas!

  10. Hi Helen .. love the 'other descriptions' .. fun - thanks for sharing a good Christmas read ..

    Have a great time with family and friends .. Hilary

  11. LOL. It's all too easy to be negligent . . . and a lot of people have been coffees!

  12. Each of these make me wish I was brilliant enough to think of them.

  13. ...therefore, if my daughter comes home from school, her laughter unable to be held in check, and rambling on about dealing with silly testicles during 4th period science class, I'll remember this post and not become alarmed:)

    Great post, Helen!

  14. Excellent and so creative.

  15. These are so much fun.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Helen, and an awesome 2011.

  16. Actually, there isn't any "Mensa Invitational," but The Washington Post does have a wonderfully clever humor contest called The Style Invitational. And two Invitational contests from 1998 are the sources of many of the neologisms in the list above. (But not all: For example, "decafalon" isn't a one-letter change from "decathlon," is it? Or "caterpallor"?)

    Much better to see the the current Invitational -- every week at We've had more than 600 contests since the ones above! The Style Invitational is published every Saturday in The Post's Style (features) section, and every Friday afternoon at about 3:30 Eastern time. There are neologism contests regularly, and lots of other sources of humor as well.

    For example, we asked readers recently to coin a new word or term that was a palindrome (it's spelled the same backward and forward). Here are some of the top winners (results printed Oct. 16):

    AHA HAHA: When you finally get the joke. (Tom Flaherty, Culpeper, Va.)

    EGADAGE: "Heck," "darn," etc. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn)

    NAMETAG-GATEMAN: The conference organizer who won't let you enter until you've ruined your jacket with adhesive paper. (Dion Black, Washington)

    AMENEMA: Blessed relief. (Anne Morgan, Fairfax, a First Offender)

    DROWSYSWORD: Impotence. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

    See the rest of the winners and learn how to enter the current contest at Or you can become a fan of "Washington Post Style" on Facebook (go to ) and you'll get a link to the Invitational when it's posted. I hope you become a regular reader and maybe even a regular entrant.

    Best, The Empress of The Style Invitational

    The Washington Post

  17. Reading these was a laugh out loud moment for me. I love the word ignoranus.

  18. There were definitely some really funny ones on the lists.

  19. I can't decide which one is my favorite either. A great post to counter the Christmas blues. Thanks, Roland

  20. I like reintarnation. That totally cracks me up.
    Thanks for the lift kid and have a swell holiday!

  21. lol, I love them all. Thanks for the good laugh to start the day!

    Merry Christmas!

  22. I love them - especially ingoranus. I do believe I'll be using that one! Merry Christmas!

  23. Did you know laughter is a great stress reliever? And I certainly laughed at these! Merry Christmas!

  24. These are a riot. I must confess, I abdicated long long ago. :p

  25. They are words worth incorporating into my own vocabulary. Wish I were clever enough to invent some.

  26. Excellent piece of writing with truly useful guidelines. Appreciation for putting this together.


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