Being a wordsmith, I was amused by The Washington Post’s 2010 “neologism contest” results, where readers create alternative meanings for common words.
Some of my favorites:
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. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp. (This one hits home since I’m recovering from a broken ankle…)
5. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
6. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
7. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
8. Frisbeetarianism (n), The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
In another exercise – for people with clearly too much time on their hands – The Washington Post’s Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Some standouts:
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. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
3. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
4. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
5. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
6. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
7. 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.
8. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
9. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
10. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.
Any candidates for Webster’s next additions to the lexicon?