Alleged Washington Post neologism contest results
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Thu May 27 15:57:17 UTC 2010
Here are some results of a quick search for related content: A post
about neologisms based on misspelled words appears in the ADS-L
archive in 1999. In 1998 the topic was discussed on Usenet. Individual
words on the list are employed with humorous intent in 1997 and 1993
Subject: The Washington Post's Style Invitational
From: James Smith
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 1999 16:00:51 -0700
(Body of message omitted)
Multiple Usenet newsgroups in 1998 contain lists with differing
subsets and supersets of the neologisms under investigation. The
Washington Post is not mentioned. The Mensa Invitational is not
mentioned. See the example from 1998 March 3 further below.
Individual isolated words appear in earlier posts. Here is an example
from 1997 that contains the term cashtrate:
From: jmcr... at southeast.net (John Cross)
Subject: Re: ASSC.How to be a dancer's favorite
>No need to cashtrate yourself if you can help it.
hmmmm... i hear a ASSC term in the coining!
oh lord - cashtration! hits far too close!!!!!
Here is an example of the word intoxication from 1993:
From: riden... at leland.Stanford.EDU (Robert Lynn Ridenour)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 93 08:31:31 GMT
Subject: Re: Poll : Jason dead ?
> Well, we have all been a little griefstricken her in the US
>about the whole thing. Yes Jason Priestly is dead. He was driving
>his brand new Ferrari when he apparentlt lost control.
>Post-accident investigation shows that while Priestly was apparently
>above the legal level of intaxication, at .22% blood alcohol, and had
Thanks to our newest snake in the White House, we're all about to
follow in Jason's footsteps and be intaxicated. He's probably
better off dead.
Here is a 1998 post with a partial listing of neologisms:
From: Elizabeth & Keith Falkner <falkn... at home.com>
Subject: New Words (one is sort of on topic...)
Here are some more new words to help improve your vocabulary.
Here are some more new words to help improve your vocabulary.
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 3 in the morning and cannot be cast out.
bozone (n.) The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright
ideas penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign
of breaking down in the near future.
cashtration (n.) The act of buying a house, which renders the subject
financially impotent for an indefinite period.
decaflon (n.) The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming
only things that are good for you.
dopelar effect (n.) The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when
you come at them rapidly.
extraterrestaurant (n.) An eating place where you feel you've been
abducted and experimented on.
Grantartica (n.) The cold, isolated place where arts companies without
intaxication (n.) Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until
you realize it was your money to start with.
kinstirpation (n.) A painful inability to move relatives who come to
lullabuoy (n.) An idea that keeps floating into your head and prevents
you from drifting off to sleep.
On Thu, May 27, 2010 at 9:01 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject: Alleged Washington Post neologism contest results
> Recently sent to me is the following alleged winners' list from the
> Washington Post yearly neologism contest. However, I find in a
> message in the ADS-L archives from 9 Feb 2001 --Subject: Neologisms
> -- ten of the same words.* What's going round --
> infoolenza? ("Viral hoaxes on the INternet.")
> * Plus two others not below -- intaxication and
> reintarnation. Perhaps they didn't have long legs.
> I didn't find any such results -- or even contest! -- in the
> Washington Post archives. But maybe I didn't look well (already
> suffering from infoolenza?).
> Irregardless, many of the following list are clever.
>>Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning
>>submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are
>>asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.
>>The winners are:
>>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. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
>>5. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you
>>absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
>>6. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
>>7. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
>>8. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are
>>run over by a steamroller.
>>19. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
>>10. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
>>11. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
>>12. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
>>13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
>>14. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief
>>that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
>>15. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by
>>The Washington Post's Style Invitational 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 this year's winners:
>>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. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the
>>purpose of getting laid.
>>3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
>>subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
>>4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
>>5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and
>>the person who doesn't get it.
>>6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
>>7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
>>8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit).
>>9. 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.
>>10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
>>consuming only things that are good for you.
>>11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
>>12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter
>>when they come at you rapidly.
>>13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
>>you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
>>14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into
>>your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
>>15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub
>>in the fruit you're eating.
>>And the pick of the literature:
>>16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
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