How About a Little Educational Word Play?

By Bill Henk — Each year The Washington Post runs two different contests that asks readers to:  (1) submit alternate meanings for common words or (2) change one or two letters in real words then make up a humorous definitions for the phony words.

Below I offer my personal favorites under the undeniable pretense that this post is some kind of vocabulary exercise.   Whether this stuff really qualifies as education-related or not, it was just too good to pass up.

In advance, I confess to wimping out and not including some very funny winners, because they could be regarded as a little too crude, politically incorrect or risqué.   Even so, I’m confident that you’ll appreciate the ones that follow here.  Enjoy.

Real Words With Clever New Meanings

  1. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  2. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline
  3. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
  4. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  5. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  6. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.
  7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightie.

Phony Words with Funny Meanings

  1. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web
  2. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people who stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  3. Bustard (n.), a rude bus driver.
  4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.
  5. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.
  6. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
  7. Dopeler effect (n.), The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  8. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  9. Glibido (n.), All talk and no action.
  10. Hipatitis (n.), Terminal coolness.
  11. Inoculatte (n.), To take coffee intravenously.
  12. Intaxication (n.), Euphoria at receiving a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money in the first place.
  13. Reintarnation (n.), Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
  14. Sarchasm (n.), The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the reader who doesn’t get it.

So, what did you think?  If you can come up with originals of either type, please share them.  Hey, there could be a Marquette tee-shirt in your future if you suggest some that are really imaginative and witty.  But no Googling, OK?   Put those creative juices to work.

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