Style Invitational Week 1259: Beat the banned with euphemisms

Tell us creative alternatives to unwelcome words; plus winning
S-A-N-T neologisms

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post )
By Pat Myers By Pat Myers

December 21, 2017


(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning neologisms from our
Tour de Fours contest)

*Vomiting: Unplanned reexamination of recent food choices* (Bradley Fisher)

*Plagiarism: Previously owned prose *(Stephen Dudzik)

*Cowardly: Challenge-challenged *(Wendy C. Leyes)

In an apparent effort to commemorate the work of both George Carlin and
George Orwell, budget planners at the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention have been asked not to use
particular terms: “transgender,” “diversity,” “fetus,” “vulnerable,”
“entitlement,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

Mustard Marvin helps you decorate your hot dog with panache. And that’s
just one part of this week’s second prize. (Dean Evangelista)

Well, they have to use /some/ words, even if they’ll be more confusing,
and this probably isn’t the last instance of word-banning ordered up by
the executive branch. So the Loser Community is exhorted to shore up the
glossary of alternatives for all kinds of Words Someone Might Not Like.
*This week: Come up with creative euphemisms for the words above, or for
other words that might offend someone or other,* as in the examples
above from one of the very first Style Invitational contests, Week 10 in
1993. You might explain a particular context of how a word would be
objectionable — at a different federal agency, say, or among a certain
group of enthusiasts, and propose a workaround. *Conversely, you can
also suggest dysphemisms: terms that put the term in a worse light,
*such as “unwanted dreck” rather than “special value.”

Submit entries at the website **
(all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place wins a Holiday Dinner
Party Two-Pack: First, there’s *Mustard Marvin,* a funny face that you
use as a lid on a squeeze bottle of mustard — the yellow goo extrudes
right out his mouth. And then there’s a container of *Bean Boozled*
jelly beans, featuring a gambler’s assortment of not just peach but
“barf,” coconut but also “stinky socks.” We didn’t try them. Marvin was
donated by Loser Dave Prevar, the beans by Alex Blackwood of Houston,
who helps the Empress run the Style Invitational Devotees
group on Facebook.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”

Loser Mug or our Grossery Bag, “I Got a B in Punmanship.”
Honorable mentions get one of our
lusted-after Loser magnets, “No Childishness Left Behind”
“Magnum Dopus.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). *Deadline is Tuesday night, Jan. 2; *results
published Jan. 21 (online Jan. 18). See general contest rules and
guidelines at . The headline
for this week’s results is by Jeff Contompasis, who also suggested the
dysphemism part of the contest; Jesse Frankovich wrote the
honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group
on Facebook at / ./ “Like” Style
Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at
; follow @StyleInvite
on Twitter.

*The Style Conversational: *The Empress’s weekly online column,
published late Thursday afternoon, discusses each new contest and set of
results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

*NSTA-grams: Top SANT neologisms from Week 1255*
In *Week 1255, * our annual Tour de Fours
neologism contest, the Empress asked you to come up with a term that
contained the letter block SANT, but in any order — which makes for 24
possible permutations.

We got literally hundreds of Santa jokes (it
/was/ why we used SANT) and hundreds of Nats jokes, but they were
remarkably varied.

4th place:

Reprehe*nsat*ion: What our elected officials often give us. (Frank Osen,
Pasadena, Calif.)

3rd place:

*Nats*turtium: Flower that blooms from April through September, then
fades quickly. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.; Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

2nd place

/and theChristmas Pickle; bath fizzies that spell “H-O”; and some lumps
of coal:

**M*anst*ruation: Something that, if it happened, would result in three
paid days off each month. (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

Am*nast*y International: The president’s new name for the State
Department. (Ann Martin, College Park, Md.)

WarTS ANd all: Honorable mentions

*Tasnamia:* Country located right next to Nambia. (Duncan Stevens)

*Antsy Claus:* What Mrs. C. calls her husband when he’s checked the list
twice, rezippered his sack, checked all the reindeer hoofs, and started
jingling his sleigh keys. (Harold Mantle, Walnut Creek, Calif.)

*Cantstand:* A vigorous exercise of disapproval. “We were watching ‘Sex
and the City,’ but Dad started doing cantstands, so now we’re watching
the game.” (Frank Osen)

*Miles Standing:* The mascot of I-66. (Barrett Swink, Gainesville, Va.)

*Aghastnesses: *What we seem to wake up to every new day. (Elena
Helming, Longmeadow, Mass., a First Offender)

*Kick in the pantsuit: *What the Democrats got in the 2016 election.
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

*Nats all, folks!: *Cry heard in Washington area early each October.
(Matt Monitto, Bristol, Conn.)

*Anonstarter: *Procrastinator. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*Santac: *What Kris takes to settle his stomach after too many Kringles.
(Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

*Stanless: *The Washington Capitals’ reputation for 43 years and
counting. (Dave Silberstein, College Park, Md.)

*Standoafish:* Unsociable /and/ stupid. (Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Stankh: *A symbol placed on Egyptian mummies that got less than royal
treatment. (Jeff Shirley; Lawrence McGuire, Waldorf, Md.)

*Postnaval drip:* A retired sailor who bores you with war stories.
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

*SheetsAndGoogles: *An online linen store. (Dudley Thompson, Cary, N.C.)

*Cantsuit:* The old baggy gray sweats for when you are unable to deal
with the world so you eat ice cream and watch TV. (Bird Waring,
Larchmont, N.Y.)

*Branstanding:* Making a big deal about your healthful diet. (Dudley

*Repants *(verb): opposite of *depants. *“If only he had repantsed
himself more quickly, perhaps he could’ve avoided jail time.” (Ivars
Kuskevics, Takoma Park, Md.)

*Tyrantsylvania:* The terrifying land beneath the swamp. (Christy
Tosatto, Brookeville, Md.)

*Half-Vastness:* What Alaskans call Texas. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh)

*Limplants: *What’s left when a boob job springs a leak. (Duncan Stevens)

*Kanyé Nast:* The media merger from hell. (Frank Osen)

*Misspokahontas: *“Did I say I was Native American?” (Jesse Frankovich)

*Transanta:* Kristen Kringle finally loses the beard. (Margaret L.
Welsh, Oakton, Va.)

*ATNs* (Automated Teller Nymphs): The wee folk who pass $20 bills
through the slot when you swipe your card. (Warren Tanabe, Annapolis, Md.)

*Rantasaur:* The codger who goes on and on about how our smartphones
make us stupid. (Jeff Hazle, San Antonio)

*Rantsom:* The price teens must pay for having their dads pick them up
at 3 a.m. at the police station. (Lawrence McGuire)

*Tyrantasaurus Vex:* An ancient species that spews venom and clings
desperately with tiny hands to survive. (Jon Gearhart)

*Santatize!:* Don’t let your chimney be the one that gets soot all over
that nice red suit. (Larry Yungk, Arlington, Va.)

*Pair-rants: *When your mom and dad yell at you simultaneously. (Mark
Richardson, Takoma Park, Md.)

*Santa claws:* Device to keep reluctant kids on Saint Nick’s lap until
the picture’s taken. (Howard Walderman, Columbia, Md.)

*Standex:* Lycra fabric so tight you can’t sit down. (Mark and Emily
Schwartz, Arlington, Va., First Offenders)

*Cowtans:* What people wear when they outgrow caftans. (Frank Osen)

*Gunderstanding: *What Congress and the NRA have. (Kyle Hendrickson)

*Trolled substances: *Online comment sections. (Jesse Frankovich)

*Ubetistan:* The nickname for Nevada. (George Smith, Frederick, Md.)

*Buttsand:* The inevitable beach souvenir. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

*Satn:* The Weeknd’s favorite
underwear fabric. (Duncan Stevens)

/And Last: / *Decontestants: *Disincentives to participate in a
competition. “Style Invitational runner-up prizes are powerful
decontestants.” (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md., who has, ahem, won 26
of them)

*Still running — deadline Tuesday night, Dec. 26: your chance to enter
(or reenter) any Style Invitational contest from the past six months.
See *