Word Play

If you like words and word play, you are going to want to check this out.

It’s the “Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational”. The contest asks ask readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The results are hillarious.

By the way, apparently it’s not really authored by the Post.

Nevertheless, it’s worth a read.

Here are the winners:

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

2. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

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

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. 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.

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

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the Person who doesn’t get it.

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

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

11. 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.

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

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

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

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

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

17. 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:

1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

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

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

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

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

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

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

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

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

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

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

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms

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

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

A bit politically incorrect, but quite clever.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Which are your favorites?

5 thoughts on “Word Play

  1. I love, “Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.”


    I’ll add Brandom – the opposite of brand loyalty.

    I did a bit over the hols, bought a North Face Jacket. A brand that, if anything, got on my nerves dues to it’s (NYC) ubiquity. “Oh how common” was my snooty English reaction. Until I tried one. Bring on the cold!

    Pengwan – A Jamaican penguin removal firm.

    That’s all I have.

  2. good stuff Julie… best New Year’s chortle so far… or should I say: “chartle”– a gleeful chuckle, while reading a list.

    Sorry if that incited some guffaws, but it was all I had at the end of the day!! 😉

    Happy 2010!

  3. @Gregg and @Floyd great comments- you brightened my gloomy January day.

    Here’s another one emailed in by a reader. She says:

    “My 13 year old son says I’m “Parentoid”. I say thank you…I think.”

    So Parentoid (adj): a legal guardian who worries too much.

    Thanks Nan!

  4. Thanks for the clarification that there is no “Mensa Invitational” published by The Washington Post. There is, however, a wonderfully clever humor contest called The Style Invitational. And two Invitational contests from 1998 are the sources of many — but not all — of the neologisms in the list above. (For example, “decafalon” isn’t a one-letter change from “decathlon,” is it? Or “caterpallor”?)

    Much better to see the real thing — every week at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. It’s published every Saturday in The Post’s Style (features) section, and every Friday afternoon at about 3:30.

    The most recent results (Jan. 30, 2010) were for humorous poems about people who died last year. One winner:

    Because the AmEx card’s their fave,
    They’re here today to tout it.
    The diggers of Karl Malden’s grave
    Just won’t heave loam without it. (Chris Doyle, Ponder, Tex.)

    Last week’s was made-up homonyms or homophones. Among the winners:
    Ho-maid: The role of a traditional wife.
    Hi-deaf TV: Commercials.
    S-cargo: Snail mail.

    You can see links to these contests and dozens of earlier ones at washingtonpost.com/styleinvitational. Or you can become a fan of “Washington Post Style” on Facebook (go to facebook.com/wapostyle ) and you’ll get a link to the Invitational when it’s posted. I hope you become regular readers and maybe even regular entrants.

    The Empress of The Style Invitational

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