When the Washington Post Has Some Wordplay Fun

The Style Invitational is a weekly humor/wordplay contest in the Washington Post. It runs in the Sunday Style section; the January 1 contest was week 1209. Here, from Pat Myers, the “Empress” of the contest, are its rules and guidelines.

The winner, the Post says, gets the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln statue bobblehead that is the official Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a battery-operated Donald Talking Pen; you push on Donald’s head and get any of eight actual recorded phrases, such as “I will be the greatest president that God ever created.” Other runners-up win their choice of a Loser Mug, the older-model “This Is Your Brain on Mugs” mug or our new Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.” Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Magnet Dum Laude” or “Falling Jest Short.”

Here are some entries in an Invitational neologism contest where you were asked to give alternative meanings to common words.

Coffee: The person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted: Appalled over how much weight you have gained.

Abdicate: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Willy-nilly: Impotent.

Negligent: Describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

Gargoyle: Olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence: Emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash: A rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle: A humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude: The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon: A Rastafarian proctologist.

Oyster: A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

Circumvent: An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

Seesaw: The view from the window of a bullet train.
Another contest in which you were asked to change a word by one letter:

Guiltar: A musical instrument whose strings are pulled by your mother.

Epigramp: A maxim that brands the speaker as an old codger. “If God had wanted women to wear pants . . .”

Eruditz: A philosophy professor who can’t figure out how to work the copying machine.

Skilljoy: The would-be friend who’s a bit better than you at everything.

Sparadigm: A model panhandler.

Defrigerator: Start saving energy now with this special offer from Pepco!

Rahputin: State Department adviser, 2017.

Bratuity: An additional $10 tip as penance for not controlling your kids.

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