Silliness to be savored.

thEvery so often I get an e-mail about the “Mensa Invitational,” a word game hosted by The Washington Post. It asks readers to make up new words by adding or subtracting a letter from an existing word.

A few examples:

Foreploy: Misrepresenting yourself for the purposes of obtaining sex.

Intaxication: The euphoria that accompanies an income tax rebate (which lasts only until you realize that this was your money to begin with).

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

Glibido: All talk, no action.

Pretty clever, huh? The only problem with the Mensa Invitational is that it doesn’t exist. (Yet another reason to stop blindly forwarding every e-mail you get.)

There is, however, a contest called the Style Invitational that’s published every Sunday in The Washington Post’s Style (aka “features”)  section and every Friday online. It features a variety of humor types, from song parodies to cartoon captions. And yes, neologisms, although these aren’t limited to adding or subtracting a letter.

Some neologisms I loathe,  e.g., “guestspert.” But because language is (or should be) both fun and fluid, I do like making up words. That’s why I’m proposing the first-ever Surviving and Thriving Non-Hideous Neologism Contest.

Why not give it a try? There’s a prize in it for you.

Invent your own words

If I receive at least five entries, I’ll award a $10 Amazon gift card via the random number generator. I’ll even relax the rules, i.e., it doesn’t have to be a one-letter change. You can use more than one word at a time, add more than one letter, et al.

To prime the pump, I’ll start with a handful of my own:

Avoirdupoise: Being comfortable and confident even if the BMI says you’re overweight.

Hypervigilante: Someone who’s determined to over-organize, over-think and over-prepare every last detail of a social event shared with others. (Guilty!)

Meanderthal: Someone who’s not only stupid, but very, very slow.

Ambidextrose: Able to eat sweets with either hand.

Musturd: That little dried-up blob that blocks the squeeze function of your bottle of French’s.

Porneau riche: The obscenely wealthy.

Upon hearing about my contest, my life partner contributed this one, off the cuff:

Goater: A western about men who raise billies and nannies.

The deadline to enter is Sept. 5. If I don’t receive any entries, I’ll assume that none of you have any imagination at all. Or that you had to wash your hair.

Full disclosure: I am actually a member of Mensa, but people are much more impressed by the fact that I was once on the game show “Jeopardy!”

More light reading:

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  1. Barbara R.

    Galactose intolerance — unable to digest milk while in space

  2. Pamela Sheppard

    Caffeiend- A person who cannot get through the day with out a lot of coffee

  3. Brattitude- Displaying a bratty attitude. (“I’m getting tired of your brattitude. Speak nicely to your mother.”)

  4. Grumpelstiltskin- Grumpy person who tries to make deals. (If I eat one more bite then can I get down from the table? But whhhhy?)

  5. Mugician: Someone who performs magic tricks using musical instruments.

  6. teinegurl

    Hangry = a person who is so hungry that got they got mad.

    • Donna Freedman

      Now that one I’ve heard before, most recently in a play…still funny, though.

  7. I’ll have more later, but for now-only its a two letter change does that count?

    Dursty=when you’re dusty and thirsty

  8. Mompetition: The insidious competition between moms of all ages to be all, do all, and have all, at the right time, right place, etc.

    By the way, I like the sarchasm one. I have that experience at work sometimes, and I have to explain “I was being sarcastic, people.” You’d think after 8 years, my co-workers would have figured that out!

  9. lake livin'

    Gloddler – a toddler that sticks to your side like glue!

  10. lake livin'

    Showrise – the tendency of lowrise pants to show more than intended. (underpants!) “Be careful bending over or you’ll showrise.”

  11. Psychiatryst – having an affair with the mental help. 🙂

  12. lake livin'

    Epidurah – The feeling you get after an epidural…..ahhhhhhh!

  13. Moonsgirl

    tiarable twos- toddlers who are in the midst or a royal snit

  14. lake livin'

    Pedilure – trying to catch a fish by dangling your toes in the water.

    I’m getting a bit too obsessed with this game. 🙂

  15. rosarugosa

    I coined these two when we remodelled our bathroom several years ago, and I just had to find the perfect toothbrush holder, among other things:
    excessories – overabundance of accessories, e.g. toothbrush holders
    obsessorizing – obsessing about excessories, e.g. toothbrush holders
    (what can I say – that bathroom remodel was a long-awaited event!)

  16. Linus Ly

    Wi-Fries – something to complete a fast food experience, especially if you have a meager data plan.

  17. Does this work?

    Pissle (verb): to urinate in a wasteful, trifling or ineffective way; to dawdle while urinating. For example, Bob’s usual pissling during the weekly pub crawl (at the six beer mark!) annoyed his friends to no end.

  18. Deskavation: the process of unearthing one’s desk from underneath a pile of paperwork.

  19. Anglish – The language used to lure in new fishermen…

  20. lake livin'

    Matrimany – either the act of marrying for the nth time or polygamy.

    • lake livin'

      A related offering….
      Matrimoney – The $ paid for a wedding ceremony. Alternatively, the $ paid if it doesn’t work out!

      • xokitty

        Here’s another take…corny! Matrimoaney–“oh nooo, here we go again!” from the poor family of the repeat offender!

  21. badget – What happens by default when you don’t budget.

  22. Candice

    Inspired by Dina’s neologism:

    – the attractiveness of someone capable to live within their means (and have fun while they achieve that).

  23. Asparagas- because sometimes it’s not just your pee that smells funny.

  24. pinbored – when you’ve spent way too much time on pinterest

  25. Julie Johnson

    Musquirt – the watery crap that comes out of the bottle before the actual mustard starts flowing after you’ve removed the musturd!

  26. some oldies but goodies:

    Pokeymon – a Jamaican proctologist

    elbonics – the competition for theatre or airplane armrests

    ignoranus – someone ignorant AND nasty

    And one I recently coined (or possibly overheard):

    obliviot – someone stupid and oblivious

  27. Consterpation–The anxiety one feels when unable to move their bowels for an extended period of time.

  28. Moonsgirl

    Here’s a few more that I’ve used!

    Clopen-the act of working the closing shift and working the opening shift a few hours later

    Boyance- a term referring to a relationship that determines that a man is more than a boyfriend but no one has officially proposed marriage.

  29. lake livin'

    Vacaption – When one spends their vacation posting updates and photos to social media, they’re on a vacaption.

    Vacaution – A vacation spent in a potentially dangerous area.

  30. lake livin'

    Footbail – When a diehard football fan bails on their family during football season. (a la “football widow.”

    OR the continuous news articles about football players out on bail!

  31. There are some funny and smart people here. I think you need to update the dictionary.

  32. Bethany

    Budget reeview: looking over a frugal newbie’s budget to skewer them for their latte habit.

  33. Moonsgirl

    confuzzlment-the state of being so addlepated that you can’t decide if you are merely fuzzy on the details or utterly confused


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