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Mensa Word Originals

Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at 7:46 AM

My view this morning through a dirty window: A very fat red squirrel dominates the black oil sunflower seeds, and the birds rustle around as if they know really COLD weather is coming. Just beyond the feeder is the field, where a wiley coyote stood last night, daring my dogs to come get him. Instead, he got a shotgun blast! Didn't try to hit him, of course! Just aimed to scare him back where he belongs!
As our weather turns frigid in this post-holiday season, I once more attempt to divert my attention from my cold surroundings. Huddled at my computer and wrapped in fleece from head to toe, I pile wood on the fire and watch my cats find cozy spots to sleep. A shrill piping from outside my big (cold) living room window reminds me that the cardinals are out of black oil sunflower seeds, so I dress for the Arctic and trudge out throught the darkness to replenish their supply.

My last blog seemed to furnish some entertainment for my fellow English teachers and even one unknown voice from Down Under, so I'm again resorting to the world of words. Far be it from me to post a reaction to upcoming events in Washington...

For today's exercise in creativity, I went back to a shared email from a beloved former student, who retains his love of words. There is probably a newer list, but I haven't taken the time to find it. I'm sure some of you will enlighten me. Wisely or unwisely, I have deleted some of the more ribald words on the list! However, there are some that I simply cannot pass up!

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 SOME of 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. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

7. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

8. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

9. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

10. 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. (Sounds like my brother David!)

11. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido : All talk and no action.

13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

15. Beelzebug (n.) : Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

16. 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. absentmindedly 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.

That's this morning's contribution from the cold, gray hills of Tillman, Missouri. This is your wishing-it-were-summer-but-glad-I-didn't-throw-away-my-old-coffee-pot rural blogger, Madeline, signing off for yet another winter's day. Y'all keep warm, y'hear?

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Apologies to wartz, granted most of my kiwi friends don't use "mate", and my place name list in Australia tends to start at Whyalla, South Aust. and finish with Lightning Ridge, Andamooka, and Coober Pedy, had a friend years back who had opal claims thereabouts , but he lived in Whyalla.

Glad to hear we have an honest beer drinker amongst us, not a thing wrong with a cold Miller High Life, while grabbing some rays in that marvelous southern hemisphere summer!!! Here's a word for the "list":

delovery; its how you are served divorce papers!!!

Must toddle for now, catch up on the laundry and the news, from the flurry bound heartland that is Johnson County, kkcaver

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Jan 20, 2009, at 12:56 PM

genbug, I worked here in the Midwest and loved the schools and labs in San Jose. I was there once for 6 weeks in school, 8 of us rented a frat house and had a live in cook and housekeeper.

-- Posted by changedname on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 6:35 AM

Dexterite, did you work for IBM in California? My brother-in-law retired from IBM in San Jose.

-- Posted by genbug on Fri, Jan 16, 2009, at 11:48 PM

How nice that we have a new friend from "further" down-under to share the blog with us. Welcome to our world :)

This blog has been a treat for someone who loved Readers Digest "Enrich your word power" as a kid along with "I am Joe's Kidney" and whatever other organs they shared with the readers. So many years have passed since then my feeble mind has forgotten them all.

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Fri, Jan 16, 2009, at 6:32 PM

Yeah, I guess the desert is the only terrain I remember seeing in the movies and on TV. Desert and aborigines - What are the movies I'm thinking of? (senior moment)You know - carried a big knife. I'll remember it as soon as I hit "save."

Ah! I remembered it on "preview your comment:" Crocodile Dundee!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 8:59 PM

Australia is actually a gorgeous green in my memory. The wine country, the coast, the Denali Rainforest...it is breathtakingly beautiful. You have to remember it is as large as the USA and has a desert just like we do.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 8:40 PM

Sorry gl, I had it wrong earlier and still messed up, I'd hang myself if I got cornfused with hooney.

-- Posted by changedname on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 6:04 PM

Haha! I doubt that Madeline's tearing her hair out! As long as we're having scintillating conversations, she'll be happy, I suspect!!

And, yeah - like we'd be disappointed that you were from NZealand, instead of Australia, wartz! Wow! We've hooked a big one!

I can't imagine that country, even when I see it on the tellie! When I think "New Zealand," I think GREEN; when I think "Australia," I think BROWN.

Dexterite, he signs his name "wartz" with a "z"! Don't do a "hoon"!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 4:37 PM

warta, I had the privilege in the 1960's to be in IBM school in California with a young man from NZ. We had a great time there for 6 weeks in school and he was in the states at Thanksgiving. He hesitated to celebrate with us but I promised if he would celebrate Thanksgiving with us I would celebrate the Queen's birthday with him. My regards to all the former IBM'ers in NZ, Thanks for this kind reminder of better days.

-- Posted by changedname on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 6:34 AM

kkcaver47/goat lady/lovebooks,

A good explanation of "belt and braces", kk - in some circles it's called "insurance".

I should come clean - I am a New Zealander and not Australian as some have imagined - perhaps I should have used the term "Further Down Under" to clarify my whereabouts.

"Mate" is a rather peculiar and sinister expression and is not heard much in NZ. We don't drink Foster's very much - I too prefer Budweiser but enjoy Miller occasionally. Both are brewed here under license I think, but are somewhat expensive.

We are, for the most part, friendly with the Australians. On one occasion though, a former NZ Prime Minister offered the comment that NZers who emigrated to Australia would raise the IQ levels of both countries - relations were strained for a time after that. The Aussies have claimed the actor Russell Crowe as their own although he was born in NZ. Eventually we worked out that they had done us a great favour. Australians and NZers share a number of sheep jokes, all of which are unfit for repeating in this forum.

Lovebooks; sorry, most of those places don't ring a bell. How about Whakatane, Rotorua, Waihi and a few others which are disturbingly close to being mispronounced as obscenities ?

Once again, we have all managed to lurch away from the topic! I don't suppose we'll ever get back to Mensa Word Originals. Madeline must be tearing her hair out.

(Sorry about your rotten weather - we are basking in 28oC - great beach weather.


-- Posted by wartz on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 2:49 AM

Wartz, does WeeWaa, Narrabri, Dubbo, Griffith, Coffs Harbour all sound familiar? I swear I could live there! Just like we were in the 50's--no WalMarts, everyone has lunch in the park, nothing bolted down in hotel rooms, everyone wants to buy you a beer. Dang, call Qantas.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 10:10 PM

We spent 18 days in Australia one winter, driving around New South Wales in a van and having a ball. We stopped at a liquor store for a cooler to keep our beer in. The guy tried to sell us a bottle of wine cooler. "Oh!" he laughed, "You mean an eski'?" "You'll have to go to the hardware store for that!"

We'd go back in a second. Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, gazed at the Southern Cross...it was amazing. The people were absolutely the friendliest people I've ever met.

-- Posted by lovebooks on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 10:00 PM

Thanks for the explanation, kkcaver47. So you speak Australian in Kansas, do you??

What was our original topic, anyway?? Oh, yeah -- made up words. Darn, I don't have any new ones. I think my brain is frozzzzzzen!

They probably feel pretty smug in Fairbanks right now, since they sent all that subzero stuff south!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 7:41 PM

One might surmise that our "mate" down-under refers to the habit of some gents to wearing both suspenders and a belt "to be sure" that their trousers remain in place, especially while tossing back a pint or two at the local, pity though, I do prefer Budweiser over Foster's, G'day, y'all....from the frozen wastelands of eastern KS, kkcaver.

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 6:23 PM

While we have our cold days here, our Winter is very mild compared to my in-laws who live in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). Talk about frigid...our weather here is wonky, we don't get much snow, just cold air and ICE, which is not a pretty sight at all.

-- Posted by mizzou_mom on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 2:22 PM

Never before, so I can only assume what that means.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 9:42 AM

Wartz, you are definitely a different voice for these blogs. "Belt and braces syndrome" is not familiar for us here in the U.S. At least, I haven't heard it before. Gonenow, how about you?

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 9:21 AM

Oh, oh, oh!! Of course! I saw "Dream Girls"!

I'm sloooooowww! I have to put on my daily fix of the Eagles this morning. "Life in the Fast Lane" will perk me up!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 9:17 AM

Diana Ross...does that help?

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 8:16 AM

I'm not a youngster - I'm just DENSE! I don't get it, gonenow! Maybe it's too early in the morning for my brain to work!!

I'm glad to hear of a good new word game! I'll have it here the next time my daughter and her boyfriend come to visit!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 8:13 AM

How about this one?

Taco Supreme: A spicy partner for Diana, Florence and Mary. (If you're a youngster, you might not get this one.)

I do like "Balderdash", also played a new word game at my niece's house: "Catch Phrase". It was really a fun word game.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 7:22 AM

Sorry about the double entry. Maybe I suffer from belt and braces syndrome or, as the Irish would say, "to be sure, to be sure".

-- Posted by wartz on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 12:29 AM

I cannot take credit for this one either;

Beer Pressure - the influence exerted by so-called friends to continue a "session" on a fine hot summer's afternoon.

-- Posted by wartz on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 9:28 PM

I cannot take credit for this one either;

Beer Pressure - the influence exerted by so-called friends to continue a "session" on a fine hot summer's afternoon.

-- Posted by wartz on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 9:28 PM

Thanks for the chuckle MD, I was having a slightly blah day and that made things much better! I too have been trying to avoid all things frigid and my feet once again are ice cubes. So much for warmer temperatures. Your post about the bird feeder reminds me I need to put one up here. I used to love watching the cardinals and of course seeing the acrobatics of the squirrels getting into the feeders. Keep thinking Jamaica mon ;) maybe that will warm us up a bit.

-- Posted by SKDellinger on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 9:27 PM

Bent nail, "vetted" is in the news lately, because it means to thoroughly check out a political candidate's background to determine if he/she has any skeletons rattling around in the closet! If they haven't been thoroughly vetted, they may embarrass their supporters!

Gonenow, I hadn't heard the word "kneelmail"! That's clever!

This reminds me of "Balderdash"! Has anybody ever played it? My family loves it.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 9:26 PM

bent nail, I've heard vetted used to mean an animal has been checked by a veterinarian. Maybe there are other meanings, too? I'm not goat lady though. (She's just almost my sister--ha!)

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 8:10 PM

I can't take credit for this one, but the web-prayer list at a church is called Kneemail.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 8:06 PM

I love these! Of course, I love any kind of word games. I'll keep thinking. Right now, the one that comes to mind if I just add a letter makes me a....GONER-NOW. Sorry...

-- Posted by GONENOW on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 7:58 PM

Madeline, I found a new word but could not find the meaning in the dictonary, the word is vetted can you help me?

-- Posted by bent nail on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 4:41 PM

Oh, I can't think up new ones, but I can sure laugh at the old ones! I think some of them must be REAL! I think I've seen the "dopeler" effect in action! Some people are so CLEVER!!

Right now, my fingers are so COLD, it's taking twice as long to write anything!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 12:13 PM

We'll keep warm and amused by your post today. It's too early or I'd attempt to make at least one entree!!!! Sorry at my attempt at humor.

-- Posted by changedname on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 11:06 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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