Monday, November 22, 2010

New Words

Here are a few news words created by taking any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. [This list has been floating around the internet as the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational, but it is not associated with the Washington Post.]

Some of the new words:

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

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

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.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

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

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

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.


Conni said...

These are great!

The Empress of The Style Invitational said...

Actually, there isn't any "Mensa Invitational," but there IS a connection to The Washington Post: It does have a wonderfully clever humor contest called The Style Invitational. And an Invitational contest from 1998 is the source 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

Janine Cate said...

Thanks for the info.

Luke said...

My favorite: Intaxication. [smile]