In the Insanity Before Passover, I Couldn't Resist. . . .

I am not very loquacious, although I definitely am a logophile. And when I received this in an email from my friend M. (yes, the very same. James Bond. Ahem.), I realized that with the insanity that is just before Pesach when we convert over from slavery to freedom (and turn our houses upside-down in the process), this was perfectly coordinated.

So in the vein of "laughter is the best medicine", for all you logophiles out there, here's the Washington Post's version of. . . malapropism (look it up. that's what Google's for.):

(I especially am fond of #16; and in part II, #5. . . )

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

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have 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.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are 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.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your 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.

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

The winners are:

1. 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.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

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

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

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

9. Karmageddon (n): its 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.

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

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

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

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

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

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Go to:! for the latest neologisms.


Mystery Woman said…
Very funny!
Pat said…
From The Empress of The Style Invitational:

I'm glad to see you like these wordplays so much: Two Style Invitational contests from back in 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, but also lots of other sources of humor as well.

For example, here are the top winners of our most recent neologism contest (results printed March 20). Every word had to include a block of three consecutive letters of the alphabet — backward.

Flingpong: Having your own affair to get even with a cheating spouse. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Burpon: Carbonated whiskey. (Barbara Turner, Takoma Park, Md.)

Zyxzag: Path created during a DWI test when the cop makes you walk 20 steps while reciting the alphabet in reverse. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

Intellectual DCbility: The newly revised term for “governmental retardation.” (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

In other forms of humor, the most recent results (March 13, 2010) are for children's books that will never be published. Among the winners:

"“Pippi Bongstocking”

"Bat the Bunny"

"You Were Adopted, but You Weren’t Our First Choice”

See the rest of the winners and learn how to enter the new contest -- combining congressmen's names to create "joint legisation" -- 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.

Happy Pesach,

The Empress of The Style Invitational

The Washington Post
Lady-Light said…
Mystery Lady: Sure is. And intelligent (most of it). That's the best kind of humor, don't you thing?

Empress Pat: Firstly, how did you find my blog? And how are you connected with the Wash. Post Style Invitational? What's your shoe size?
(-just kidding)

Now that I've finished my 'third degree', I want to thank you for all the information you sent on the Washington Post contests. Had I known this (I did not research this one--mea culpa) I would have included a link, at least.

I will definitely check out the Wash.Post website. Come back and visit again!
Happy Holiday to you, too!
Pat said…
Lady Light, I am The Empress of The Style Invitational -- I run the whole thing.

I heard about your blog because I'm signed up with Google Alerts to be notified whenever there's a reference to "Style Invitational" or to the inaccurate but widely spread misnomer "Mensa Invitational." I've been following up on some of these -- that same list from 1998 is still being posted several times a DAY -- to let people know what The Style Invitational is and where they can find it every week.

And I'd love for you to include the link to!
Lady-Light said…
Empress Pat: Aha, you are the whole shebang! I do not think there was a link in the email I received, but I would be happy to edit my post and add the link.
Feel free to send the link to my blog to everyone you know! -And thank you again for your informative comment; hope to read your comments here in the future.

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