Posted by: episystechpubs | July 23, 2020

Editor’s Corner: Neologisms

Good morning and happy Thursday! My friend Ron F. sent me a fun article about neologisms. My first question was, “What’s a neologism?” Well, I know that the prefix “neo” is Greek for “new” and “logos” is Greek for “speech or utterance.” Merriam-Webster defines neologism this way: “a new word, usage, or expression.”

The Washington Post has a neologism contest every year that concentrates on new usage. They ask readers to supply new meanings for existing words. 2019’s winners are pretty funny. I’ve copied and pasted the winners that were fit to share below. I hope they give you a chuckle.

The winners are:

  • 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.
  • Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  • Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  • Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
  • Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  • Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  • Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
  • Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.
  • Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
  • Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand), the belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

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.

The winners are:

  • 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.
  • Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  • 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.
  • Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease.
  • Karmageddon (n): 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.
  • Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
  • Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
  • Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.

I hope the rest of your day is happy.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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