Friday, March 12, 2010

If I Only Had a Brain

You know I absolutely adore wordplay; otherwise there wouldn't be 86 comments on my game post. (And for the record, let me just say, I love each and every one of your crazy brains and the heads they rode in on.)

So when my friend Ronda sent me this e-mail, I had to put it up on my blog. I didn't make up any of these words or definitions, but, oh! How I wish I had!

These are the winners of this year's Washington Post Mensa Invitational, which asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Note: I have edited certain portions for sensitive readers, like me as a ferinstance. My edits appear in {these funky looking brackets}.


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

2: Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and a {small domesticated farm animal} hole.

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: 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 {to know someone and fall in love with them and eventually marry them and then consummate that marriage at the totally appropriate time}.

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

13: Glibido: All talk and no action. {I really don't know what this means. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.}

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

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

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

17: Catterpallor: 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. These are the winners:

1: Coffee: The person upon whom one coughs.

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

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

4: Esplanade: To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5: Willy-nilly: Impotent. {Again, no clue...}

6: Negligent: Absentmindedly answering the door wearing only a nightgown.

7: Lymph: To walk with a lisp.

8: Gargoyle: Olive-flavored mouthwash.

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

10: Balderdash: A rapidly receding hairline.

11: Testicle: A humorous question on an exam.

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

13: Pokemon: A Rastafarian proctologist.

14: Oyster: A person who sprinkles his conversation with yiddishisms.

15: Circumvent: An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

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

{Fly! Fris Bee!}


Braden said...

That was great! Thanks for some very good chuckles. Witty people are so awesome.

NatureGirl said...

Oh! Those are the a word lover myself I thought you might enjoy this post and this website...

Uptown Girl said...

i am DYING laughing!!! you kill me. over and over and over.

Mallory said...

Oh my gosh!!!! Some of those were so hilarious, I can't even believe it!

Julie said...

I'm still laughing at "lymph" and I'm pretty sure I will be all day long.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

These are awesome! What a fun Friday post. Thanks so much for sharing them. :-)

Kimberly said...


I swear I just burned 500 calories from laughing so hard. And I may have bruised my spleen...

Maureen said...

I looove lists like these. They make you look at words differently. One of my faves is "humidified" which is a combination of humiliated and mortified.

Garden of Egan said...

Those were priceless.

Rebecca said...

Hilarious! My favorite is the "oyster" one.

Word verif: honic. Meaning a tonic you make for your spouse.

L.T. Elliot said...

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

ROFLMAO! Seriously! The best day EVER!

Katherine said...

Impossible to not laugh.

My three year old always says "I have a coffee bean in my throat." when he coughs. So the coffee definition completely makes sense.

Jessica said...

Those were GREAT! I love the wit!

Kazzy said...

Fantastic! I couldn't even pick my fave! I am going to have to try and use some in conversation!

My 11 yr-old heard me laughing and called out, "Mom, are you reading blogs again?" I almost felt guilty. Almost.

Pat said...

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 (not "this year") 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 a recent contest, which was to make up a word that has three consecutive letters in alphabetical order (results printed Feb. 20):

Coughin: A small enclosure designed especially for smokers. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

Mno: The kind of response that makes you want to ask her again. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)

Noplow: Washington, D.C.'s, snow emergency plan. (Jack Clark, Westfield, N.J.)

. Geode-face: Someone whose beauty is "sparkling inside." (Craig Dykstra, Centreville)

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” (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

"Bat the Bunny" (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

"You Were Adopted, but You Weren’t Our First Choice” (Beverley Sharp, Washington)

See the rest of the winners and learn how to enter the new contest -- a 10-word Wikipedia-type entry (click on Week 860) 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.


The Empress of The Style Invitational

The Washington Post

DeNae said...

Wow! Thanks, Pat!

Just ME the MOM said...

Gasping . . .

Help me - my sides are splitting . .



Destiny said...

Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

wendy said...

all brilliant for sure.
I wonder if they will help me with my cross word puzzles??

Shelley said...

I really needed that chuckle today! Thanks.

Cheeseboy said...

Being half Jewish, I especially liked "circumvent".

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hahahahahahahahahah I lubbed that. Especially the edited parts. YOU are so awesome, girlfriend. How's your man {uscript} coming?

AS Amber said...

My fave was the sarchasm one. I've said t before and I'll say it again: if you don't speak sarcasm then don't speak to me. And is it just me or did Pat have like a TON of information?

It's your anniversary! And after working a double today my feet feel the same as they did that night 25 years ago! (And just like that night, the only time I sat tonight was when I was peeing.)

Congratulations, guys! Love ya!

Sher said...

These are hilarious! Thanks for sharing! said...

That was hilarious! Some people have such wit. But then again, some people must have tons of time to come up with crap like that! ;-)

M-Cat said...

Laughing out loud of course and was Pat for real?

Pat said...

Pat's for real -- just hoping that people who enjoy these words go check out the Style Invitational every week. Next week's results: Made-up words that include three alphabetical letters - backward- in a row, like 'FED.'

Lisa Loo said...

I need to do better at remembering to put on my Depends before I come read your blog.

Love the link to the WA Post in your comments--cool!

One Cluttered Brain said...

Glibido---LOL. Funny.

Love these words AND your definitions. THANKS!

Great writing!