Mensa Invitational

The eagle-eyed and sharp-witted amongst you who, like Kelli, spotted my little wordplay at the end of my post yesterday are going to love this email I received during the week:

Here is the Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational, which once again 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 the winners:

  1.  Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
  2. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
  3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
  4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  5. 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.
  6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
  7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high
  8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
  9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  11. Karmageddon: It’s 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.
  12. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you
  13. Glibido: All talk and no action.
  14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
  16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

 The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words. And the winners are: 

  1. coffee, n. the person upon whom one coughs.
  2. flabbergasted, adj. appalled by discovering how much weight one has 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. willy-nilly, adj. impotent.
  6. negligent, adj. absent-mindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.
  7. lymph, v. to walk with a lisp.
  8. gargoyle, n. olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. flatulence, n. emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.
  10. balderdash, n. a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. testicle, n. a humorous question on an exam.
  12. rectitude, n. the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  13. pokemon, n.. a Rastafarian proctologist.
  14. oyster, n. a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
  15. Frisbeetarianism, n. the belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
  16. circumvent, n. an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

I love when wordplay like this happens to me “in the Wild” i.e. unplanned situations that usually result from people mis-pronouncing or mis-understanding words in their day-to-day conversations. One of my favourites is the builder who told me he had problems obtaining a “virtuous” China WC pan. And another builder who was having difficulty securing his site because he couldn’t get any “Palestine” fencing. I had to bite my tongue not to quip that it was probably because the Israelis had cornered the market. Instead I usually smile quietly to myself and make a mental note to remember and regale my colleagues later in the office.

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One Response to “Mensa Invitational”

  1. Averil Says:

    Those are brilliant! There are lots in Spanish too. I might have to share these with some of my advanced classes an see how they get on.


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