Style Invitational Week 1395: Always room for one more
The 11th Commandment, Four Horsemen Plus One, etc.; plus no-C,O,V,I,D neologisms
Image without a caption
(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
Pat Myers
July 30, 2020 at 9:41 a.m. EDT
Add to list
(Click here to skip down to this week’s winning neologisms)

The Ten Commandments Plus One: 11. Thou shalt mask thy pestilent piehole. (Art Grinath)

The Seven Dwarves Plus One: Handsy, who sings, “Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to HR I go.” (Art Grinath)

“Thirteen Angry Men”: The jurors’ anger erupts into gunfire when Yosemite Sam cain’t stand no more infernal yammerin’. (Judith Cottrill, Week 651)

This week’s contest was suggested by Loser Since Week 106 Art Grinath, who earns his 400th blot of Style Invitational ink with his idea. This week: Add a “plus one” to some familiar numerical grouping, true or fictional, as in the examples above. You might also add a description or “quote” illustrating the effect of that new element; for example, if you had the Four Stooges, you might have some dialogue among Moe, Larry, Curly and, say, Bill Barr.

A star is worn: Loser spouse Nancy Kupiec models this week’s second prize.
A star is worn: Loser spouse Nancy Kupiec models this week’s second prize. (John Kupiec)

This contest overlaps a bit with one we did in 2006: Week 651 asked readers to add a character to a book or movie and describe the resultant plot. But this week’s encompasses any grouping known by a number.

Submit up to 25 entries total at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Monday, Aug. 10; results will appear Aug. 30 in print, Aug. 27 online.

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives something we thought we’d be giving out in April, the ostensible start of baseball season — or around July 4, when the Washington Nationals would have been hosting the Houston Astros: It’s a “Houston Asterisks” T-shirt, in dishonor of the team that, it turns out, owed its 2017 postseason success — culminating in a World Series win — to an elaborate cheating scheme. Alas, this summer the Nats won’t even be playing the Astros, but we’d better not wait any longer to announce this prize; at least, as of this week, there’s still some season. Donated by Loser John Kupiec, who a few years ago also gave us some Atlanta “Barves” barf bags, for when their fans do that horrible Tomahawk Chop.


Other runners-up win their choice of our “For Best Results, Pour Into Top End” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our new lusted-after Loser magnets, “No ’Bility” or “Punderachiever.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “COVoIDance” is by Tom Witte; Jesse Frankovich wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; “like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational The Empress's weekly online column, published late afternoon Thursday, July 30, discusses this week's new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .

COVoIDance: No c-o-v-i-d neologisms from Week 1391
In Week 1391 we asked you to come up with new terms that did not include the letters C, O, V, I and D. But we didn’t ask you to stay away from the topic.

4th place:
Fleeway: Your escape route if someone threatens to violate your six-foot perimeter. “I hope there’s no traffic, because when that dog walker comes down the sidewalk, my fleeway is the middle of the street.” (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

3rd place:
PeeTee: To resort to a paper towel when all the toilet paper is gone. It’s pretty peeteeful. (Mike Caslin, Round Hill, Va.)

2nd place
and the prank box for an “earwax candle kit”:


Elephantasy: Mainstream Republicans’ prediction that the president will start governing responsibly any day now. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:
Harangutan: A large orange creature that spends all day bellowing at rivals in the other branches. (Jesse Frankovich, Lansing, Mich.)

Jested negative: Honorable mentions
Barrbell: Something Trump has in the palm of his hand that helps him flex his muscle. (Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

F-fluent: What a lot of tots have become after learning new vocabulary at home from their stressed-out parents. (Dan Helming, Trenton, N.J.)

Barrf: The gAG reflex. (Bob Kruger, Rockville, Md.)

BSAT: Required exam for all aspiring press secretaries. (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Esperate: Clinging to your job. “‘Donald Trump is our greatest president ever,’ said the defense secretary esperately.” (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)


Gaffyette Square: Historic site renamed in honor of Trump’s photo op debacle. (Bob Kruger)

Heretage: The belief that something belongs there because it’s there. “Sure, General Sassafras was a enslaver who killed thousands of U.S. troops, but his statue’s been up there at the courthouse since 1965.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

Jeezburger: “It has cheddar, bacon, ranch dressing AND onion rings?” (Jesse Frankovich)

True as Trump: A 21st-century idiom for “blatant lie.” (Liz Siegenthaler Rubin, Annapolis, Md., a First Offender)

Ans-were: An out-of-date factoid. “The most home runs ever? That’d have to be Hank Aaron, given that this trivia game is from 1982.” (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

Babble Belt: The route of Trump’s rally tour. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Buyway: The $32 HOT lane. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)


Emaskulate: To diminish someone’s manhood by asking him not to infect his neighbors. (Sarah Walsh, Rockville, Md.)

Emplayee: Someone “working” from home who just happens to have League of Legends up in another window. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Eureeka: “I found the source of that foul smell — it’s Kyle!” (Lee Graham, Rockville, Md.)

Green Beats Spleen: After years of protests fail to get Dan Snyder to change his team’s name from a racial slur, FedEx’s money puts it there overnight! (Ward Foeller, Charlottesville, Va., a First Offender)

Halvenue: A street whose name suddenly changes in the middle of town. “Huh? I thought I was on . . . ohh, Waze didn’t note that this is a halvenue.” (Jon Gearhart)

Kneel estate: An NFL sideline. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

Laggage: Your suitcases that finally show up on the last day of your overseas vacation. (Kate Sammons, Ashburn, Va.)


Laughtear: A reaction when you don’t know whether to guffaw or weep. “He said, ‘Nobody ever thought this could have happened’? Oh, my.” (Kathy El-Assal, Middleton, Wis.)

Memwar: A campaign to suppress your niece’s book. (Jonathan Jensen)

Pantsy: Overdressed for your Zoom meeting. (Sam Mertens)

Purgery: Wielding the scalpel on troublesome people. “I fired that inspector general because he was incompetent, that’s why.” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Quarantan: Bronze skin around the eyes and a ghostly pallor around the nose and mouth. (Ben Aronin, Washington)

Quaranteam: The concept that we are all in this together — an idea that was thoroughly debunked in March. (Frank Osen)

Queueueueueueue: The line to vote in this year’s primary. (Edmund Conti, Raleigh, N.C.)

Red Membranes: How about this for the team’s new name? (Drew Bennett, West Plains, Mo.)


Shampee: That blue liquid they use in diaper commercials. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Va.)

Shun Belt: Southern states that are best avoided right now. (Duncan Stevens)

Take a née: Protest the patriarchal biases in marriage by not changing one’s name. (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

Test-ease: Some people have, and some people buy. “Donald had SAT performance issues until he learned he could pay for some test-ease.” (Steve Smith)

Thy-slapper: “A Mennonite walks into a bar . . . ” (Chris Doyle)

Harbage: All the Invite entries that aren’t here today. (Eric Nelkin)

And Last: Covidiot: Yes, I used every single letter I have been told not to, AS IS MY RIGHT! FREEDOM! (Danielle Nowlin, Fairfax Station, Va.)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Aug. 3: Our contest for a line that would work in either of two movies. See

DON’T MISS AN INVITE! Sign up here to receive a once-a-week email from the Empress as soon as The Style Invitational and Style Conversational go online every Thursday, complete with links to the columns.