Style Invitational Week 1506: Let’s go magnet fishing with new words
Write a short poem with one of these terms recently added to the dictionary. Plus winning ‘hi’-word limericks.

By Pat Myers

September 15, 2022 at 9:53 a.m. EDT

Click here to skip down to the winning limericks.

The meal that chefs call omakase
(A go-to of the sushi posse)
The raw-fish lover's trendy favorite
Alas, when done they have to pay for it.


The folks at Merriam-Webster are back with a look at some of the 370 new terms and meanings they’ve recently added to their dictionary — and even donated a prize celebrating one of them.

So let’s do what we did with the last batch about a year ago: This week: From the list below, write a humorous poem of eight lines or fewer featuring one or more of these terms, as in the creatively (but validly) rhyming example above by Style Invitational fan Gene Weingarten, a longtime connoisseur of the subtleties of Japanese food who indeed has ordered omakase, a chef’s-choice menu. Look up the words at or click on the links below. (And no, magnet fishing does not mean entering The Style Invitational.)

Submit up to 25 entries at (no capitals in the Web address). Deadline is Tuesday night, Sept. 27 (that’s for you, Rosh Hashanah people); results appear Oct. 16 in print, Oct. 13 online.

cootie catcher
dawn chorus
deep cut
hairy eyeball
level up
magnet fishing
mood board
pumpkin spice
side hustle
supply chain
Tater Tots

Winner gets the Clowning Achievement, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a mug imprinted with the Merriam-Webster logo and its definition of “pumpkin spice.” (The Empress, who will drink virtually any coffee that keeps her awake, including that filtered through old socks, had to spit out a pumpkin spice brew. But that’s your call.)

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 lusted-after Loser magnets, “A Small Jester of Appreciation” or “Close, but Ceci N’est Pas un Cigare.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). See general contest rules and guidelines at The headline “ ’Hi’-way Ribbery” is by Jeff Contompasis; Kevin Dopart and Tom Witte both submitted the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at; follow Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at; and follow @StyleInvite on Twitter.

The Style Conversational: The Empress’s weekly online column discusses each new contest and set of results. See this week’s, published late Thursday, Sept. 15, at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago ...

‘Hi’-way ribbery: Winning limericks from Week 1502

Week 1502 was our annual Limerixicon, a salute to the never-ending limerick dictionary project at This year we’ve inched up to the “hi-” words.

4th place:

Two newlywed Goths want to choose
A token of love they won’t lose.
She likes funerals, he
Adores snakes; they agree
To get hiss-and-hearse matching tattoos.
(Coleman Glenn, Huntingdon Valley, Pa.)

3rd place:

One day Lassie, while filming, was laggin’;
Wouldn’t move — so they had to start draggin’.
The director said, “Sheesh,
Let’s attach a long leash,
Then we’ll go hitch our star to a wagon.”
(Karen Lambert, Chevy Chase, Md.)

2nd place

and the book “Museum of Bad Art: Masterpieces”:

I like rap, so I play it nonstop,
Which annoys both my mom and my pop.
“That ain’t music,” they say,
“Like the hits in our day,
Long before your dang hippety-hop.”
(Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

And the winner of the Clowning Achievement:

Our home is historic, you’ll see.
Mr. Rochester shares it with me.
We have bedrooms to rent
From September to Lent —
Log on now to JaneEyreBnB!
(Stephen Gold, London)

Junior HI-: Honorable mentions

Said a hidebound exec, “When I’m hiring
I pick bottoms and legs worth admiring.”
It got back to HR,
Which reached out: “Au revoir!
For it’s clear, sir, you’ll soon be retiring.”
(Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Mr. Dumpty is sadly now gone,
His remains scattered out on the lawn,
He climbed far, far too high
On that wall — why, oh why?
It seems that his friends egged him on.
(Kevin Ahern, Corvallis, Ore.)

A British guitarist named Stan
Was playing a concert in Cannes,
When an audience member
Threw rocks and an ember …
And that’s when the Brit hit the fan. …
(Madeleine Begun Kane, Bayside, N.Y.)

My kitchen’s been gaily restyled:
Neon yellow and pink have run wild!
To what do I owe
This mysterious glow?
Just two highlighters snagged by my child.
(Christy Tosatto, a full-time RV nomad submitting from near St. John's, Newfoundland)

Have a problem to solve that’s got heft?
Is it making you feel less than deft?
Never fear! Keep your cool!
Thanks to vigilance, you’ll
Sometimes find there’s a bit of help left.
(Melissa Balmain, Rochester, N.Y.)

At my campsite I’m startled to see
A black and white beast by my knee.
Though the tail that arises
Is his, the surprise is:
The high-tailing party is me.
(Coleman Glenn)

A man came to Hippocrates; quoth
The man: “Look, on my elbow’s a growth,
And it hurts — makes me yelp.”
Doc said, “Wish I could help,
Sir, but ‘First, do no arm’ was my oath!”
(Karen Lambert)

Hippocrates tried something new
When his days as a doctor were through:
He began cutting hair
At a beauty school, where
He taught stylists to first harm no ’do. (Chris Doyle)

About Hillary he was frenetic.
“Lock her up!” got the crowds energetic.
So the boxes they found
In his club will be bound
To make justice seem extra poetic.
(Michael Stein, Arlington)

He spoke of a hip joint he knew;
She seemed to be interested, too.
“Ooh, that place down the street
Where the in-people meet?”
Then he pulled out his X-rays to view.
(Beverley Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

He took documents with him, unbidden,
In a Florida safe, kept them hidden.
Now his fans, near and distant,
Just to keep it consistent,
All proclaim, “Lock him up!” (Nah, just kiddin’.)
(Mark Raffman)

Trump’s take on the docs he had hidden:
“That’s BS! Who said it’s forbidden?
They’re mine, free and clear!
Plus, they weren’t even here —
You guys planted them! Whaddaya, kiddin’?”
(Sharon Neeman, Pardes Hanna, Israel)

Hickory dickory dock,
Dumb mouse must have gotten a shock
When the sound of a chime
Put an end to his climb.
What a weenie, cold-cocked by a clock!
(Pam Shermeyer, Lathrup Village, Mich.)

The internist loved the old clock,
But his words left the seller in shock:
“Even though the wood’s nice,
I will not pay full price:
I’m a dickery hickory doc.”
(Jeff Loren, Seattle)

A gentleman wearing Versace
Ate with gusto and got it all splotchy.
In a hurry, he tried
Using water and dried
It most foolishly — with a hibachi.
(Stephen Gilberg, Silver Spring, Md.)

“I’ve a bad case of hiccups,”said Beth,
“That won’t end and it scares me to death.
Hope I’ll soon find a cure,
But I’m not really sure
That I will – I'm not holding my breath.”
(Kirk Miller, Richardson, Tex.)

Joe Manchin is no country hick
But he’s made many city folks sick
With his waffles and whines
And his coddling of mines:
He’s changed horses while deep in the crick.
(David Johnston, Elkridge, Md., who last got Invite ink in 1998)

To be covered in sweat is hidrotic,
And in college, I’d get so neurotic:
Each exam was a stressor—
Once a physics professor
Said, “Relax, you look semi-aquatic!”
(Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

As a fielder ran under a fly ball,
Its position he couldn’t quite eyeball.
When it cost him the game
He got drunk out of shame.
So that’s twice he got whipped by a highball.
(Jonathan Jensen, Baltimore)

On the highway, my teen sped ahead.
“That car’s wrong and I’m right!” So I said,
“If there’s danger afield,
And you choose not to yield,
You’ll be right but you'll also be dead.”
(Karen Lambert)

Putin's behaving like Hitler,
Wants to carve up Ukraine like a whittler.
He's a new Russian czar
With chutzpah bizarre
(Compensating for parts that are littler?)
(Allan Zackowitz, Brookeville, Md.)

“Hip, hooray!” sounds so boring, so blah –
As congrats, it lacks je ne sais quoi.
Also, more to the point,
Why not some other joint?
“Elbows mazel tov!” “Knuckle huzzah!”
(Daniel Galef, Tallahassee)

My medical history’s done;
Seems colitis and flatulence run
In my family, docs say.
No surprise there ’cause, hey,
I keep hearing “Like farter, like son.”
(Chris Doyle)

Time to toast! I was glad to comply,
So I lifted my glass to the sky.
I finished my highball
And checked out my eyeball...
So where is that “mud in my eye”?
(Beverley Sharp)

I flunked history, couldn’t defeat it
(And didn’t do much to complete it).
I should have been wiser;
So says my adviser,
Who tells me I’m doomed to repeat it.
(Coleman Glenn)

This is sure to delight boyfriend Tommy:
’Neath the couch I’m concealing pastrami,
And there’s more meat that’s stowed
Just behind the commode!
Well, he said, “Let’s play hide-the-salami.”
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

A hive is a home for a bee
A bird makes its nest in a tree
A hole is a house
For a mole or a mouse
And a Palm Beach resort with lots of rooms for top-secret documents is a house for me— because I don’t have to obey any laws, including the laws of limericks.
(Joan Welsh, Arlington, Va., a First Offender -- after the poem by Mary Ann Hoberman)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Sept. 19: Combine the names of any two U.S. and/or Canadian cities in a “joint venture.” See

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Examples:(Gene Weingarten)
Title:(Jeff Contompasis)
Subhead: (Kevin Dopart; Tom Witte)