Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pawlie's Portmanteux

These are what I submitted for the Washington Post Style Invitational humor contest on portmanteau coinages. In an e-mail, the Empress gently chided me, instructing that some of my brilliance did not technically meet the "portmanteau" criteria.

Nevertheless, none of my cleverness made the grade.

Fair and bollixed. You decide . . . if any should have (or "should have done," as the Brits would say if the sentence ended here) made the grade.

sicklicious -- cutting yet perversely pleasurable (...a sicklicious remark).

siblinguistics -- the psychologicallly charged speech habits of siblings ("I'm telling Mommy!" or "How could you think of going on a cruise on their fiftieth anniversary!")

stipulater -- to add conditions to an agreement after the fact.

technicalamity -- a highly specialized screw-up, or an event masquerading as such ("The system is down. What a technicalamity!)

Timbuktutu -- a scanty ballet outfit, and by extension a euphemism for nudity

Timbuktutu -- outfit worn -- sometimes -- by the Mali National Ballet Company

zodiaction -- action taken after reading one's daily horoscope.

sacramention -- something you swore you would never tell.

sadomasochasm -- the gap between pleasure and pain.

topornography -- branch of topography that perceives explicit sexual connotations in land forms and contours.

unduleisure -- a casual but flirtatious wave of the hand.

ultimato -- a threat that backfires, leaving one red-faced, as in "I thought I told you to clean your room!" "I did, plus I did my homework and mowed the lawn."

umpirical -- pertaining to data that is simultaneously highly subjective and objective.

vestallment -- virginity, or its loss, on the installment plan.

vortext -- a message that just sucks the air out of you.

whiskeynote -- an intemperate opening speech or address

zerendipity -- discovering by sheer happenstance the existential nothingness and hollowness of life as we know it. (J.P. Sartre, Paris)

zaftwig -- America's next celebrity model; an anorexic beauty with strategically implanted supplements.

yeowomen -- back-up singers for a gangsta rapper.

yahootenanny -- a bunch of screaming idots. Yahootenanny: scream-activated search engine.

wobegonorhhea -- a sexually transmitted curse.

xenopheromone -- hormone that stimulates arousal triggered by the sound of a foreign accent.


Girl on the Run... said...

This list was hard to choose from! I have to say I've practiced siblinguistics for quite some time having a brother and all!

Yet being a girl on the dating scene I have had to add many a stipulator to the lists od do's and don'ts!

I've always scene those beauty Queens sitting atop those beautiful antique cadillacs while on parade practicing there Unduleisures and have so desired to do the same yet living in a land of zerendipity wishing I was a zaftwig hasn't given me much oppurtunity!
All the best Paulie.. thanks for remembering me,

Ralph said...

Around here, we refer to the pre-dinner relaxation as a 'Napertif'

Don't you?

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Excellent list, whoever edited the incoming offers was obviously blind and ignorant.

It cracks me up that you referenced John Paul Sartre.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Michael T said...

The surprising thing is that I'm not just laughing at the cleverness--I'm also imagining using some of the words in real life. Such as zodiactoin, ultimato, and vortext. Though I might use vortext for a useless or vapid text message on a cell phone. Thanks for increasing my vocabulary.

BASTA! said...

Actually xenopheromones are pheromone-like substances that animals secrete to influence behavior of other species. Like those major-depression-inducing chemicals secreted by cockroaches that make you curl up on your bed in fetal position at the mere thought of washing the dishes or taking out the garbage.