A REGULAR and erudite reader (that’s different from Araldite by the way although he has stuck by me for years) has sent a list of winning entries from The Washington Post’s neologism contest.
The what contest? Don’t worry, all neology means is a new word.
They invite their readers to submit alternative meanings for common words. Some of these are both clever and funny.
Coffee (n), the person upon whom one coughs. Flabbergasted (adj), appalled over how much weight you have gained. Abdicate (v), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach. Esplanade (v), to attempt an explanation while drunk. Willy-nilly (adj), impotent. Negligent (adj), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown. Lymph (v), to walk with a lisp. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavoured mouthwash. Flatulence (n) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller. Balderdash (n), a rapidly receding hairline. Testicle (n), a humorous question on an exam. Frisbeetarianism (n), the belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
The renowned newspaper also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are a few of the winners:
Cashtration (n): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late. 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. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly. Arachnoleptic fit (n): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating. And finally: Ignoranus (n). Which I don’t think needs an explanation.