Sunday, January 24, 2010

Amusing & Creative Vocabulary

The Style section of The Washington Post runs a weekly humor contest called the "Style Invitational." ( Each week is a new challenge. One of the most famous is neologisms create new words). The instructions: Alter any word by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter; then supply a new definition. Here are some winners:

1. Blabyrinth: the untraceable trail back to the person who started the rumor.

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

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

4. Reintarnation : Belief that one will come back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The subs tance 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.

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 grueling 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 whenn 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.

18. Banalogy: a simile that is as dull as dishwater.

19. Cerealistic: knowing that there is no Chex in the mail.

20. Frostitute: a member of the world's coldest profession.

21. Theorethical: how you would behave if you knew you would not get caught.

NEW DEFINITIONS: Alternate meanings to real words.

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. circumvent (n.): an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

1 comment:

Pat said...

From the Empress of The Style Invitational:

I hope you like the results of those two Style Invitational contests from 1998 (some of the entries on the list, though, aren't actually from the Invitational: "Caterpallor," for example, isn't a one-letter change from "caterpillar," and "decafalon" isn't close to "decathlon"!

But we're now in our 17th year of weekly contests, and you can see them every week online at

It's published every Saturday in The Washington Post's Style (features) section, and online every Friday afternoon at about 3:30 Eastern time.

This week's results (Jan. 23, 2010) were for a contest to write your own homonym or homophone -- a new word that is pronounced just like an existing word -- and define it.

Some of this week's winners (from Week 849):

Ho-maid: The role of a traditional wife. (Judy Blanchard, Novi, Mich.)

Hi-deaf TV: Commercials. (Steve Offutt, Arlington, Va.)

S-Cargo: Snail Mail. (Don Hauptman, New York)

See dozens of others just like these at invitational (click on Week 853). I hope you become regular readers and perhaps even regular contestants. Just follow the direction for each week’s new contest.

Best, The Empress