Style Invitational Week 1025: Are you backronimble? Tell us what words and names ‘stand for’


(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
June 6, 2013

Wow! Heroes Eat Anything To Indiscriminately Endorse Something: Wheaties (Marty McCullen)

Big Ugly Drunkards Will Enjoy Its Smoothness, Especially Regurgitating: Budweiser (Brendan Beary)

Get a Tub Overhead . . . Ready, Aim, Dump Everywhere!: Gatorade (Jesse Frankovich)

The examples above got ink in our 2005 contest for backronyms: phrases that pretend to explain what existing terms “stand for.” (The term, if you choose to believe Wikipedia, seems to have originated right here in The Post, back in 1983 as an entry by reader Meredith G. Williams in the early days of Bob Levey’s monthly neologism contest; he spelled it “bacronym,” but our dictionary uses the slightly more readable “backronym.”) Our Week 632 contest focused on product names, but 13-time Loser Jeff Loren suggests broadening our de-abbreviated horizons: This week: Create an original backronym for a name or other term, especially one that’s been in the news lately. You may add articles or short prepositions, such as “the” or “to,” that begin with letters that aren’t in your term.

Winner receives the Inkin’ Memorial, the Lincoln-statue bobblehead that is the Style Invitational’s official trophy. Second place gets a fabulous double prize, from two donors who smuggled their finds into the country from Europe: first, a roll of toilet paper with euro currency imprinted on the sheets, taken from Germany by Inge Ashley; and also a practical-joke roll of No Tear Toilet Paper: “Impossible ‘Paper Work’ for Any ‘Sit-Down Job,’ ” brought all the way back from Sweden (“Kr 20.00”) by Mike Gips, even though it’s an American novelty product made in China. Yes, yes, we know that the Post Hunt gave out thousands of dollars in prizes last week.

Other runners-up win their choice of a yearned-for Loser Mug or the ardently desired Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get a lusted-after Loser magnet. First Offenders receive a smelly, tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). E-mail entries to losers@washpost.com or fax to 202-334-4312. Deadline is Monday, June 17; results published July 14 (online July 11). No more than 25 entries per entrant per week. Include “Week 1025” in your e-mail subject line or it might be ignored as spam. Include your real name, postal address and phone number with your entry. See contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/inviterules. The subhead for this week’s honorable mentions is by Jeff Contompasis; the alternative headline in the “next week’s results” line was submitted independently by Chris Doyle, Mae Scanlan and Tom Witte. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev ; follow the Empress on Twitter at @PatMyersTWP.

Still running — deadline Monday night — is our “A is for. . .”/“B is for. . .” couplet contest. See bit.ly/invite1024.

Report from Week 1021

in which we supplied a list of seven-letter “racks” used in the daily ScrabbleGrams puzzle feature, and asked you to make your own, funny neologisms. Each of the racks was intended to produce a word no longer than six letters, but that’s because those poor ScrabbleGrams editors didn’t have the Loser Community to expand the dictionary for them. It’s fun to see the various clever permutations of a single rack, so we’ll run some groups this week, and then more of them two weeks from now.

The winner of the Inkin’ Memorial

AUFWRGF:  Gruffaw: A mocking, dismissive laugh. “Listen, kid, if you can’t take the constant gruffaws, you’ll never make it big in the mime biz.” (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif)

2. Winner of the odd little book “Off the Wall: Fashion From East Germany, 1964 to 1980”:
AIUKQSW: Quawk: Any Scrabble “word” that will score you a whole bunch of points if you can get everyone to believe your BS definition. Really, that's what it is! (Danielle Nowlin, Woodbridge, Va.)

3. AAOYBLP: Playboa: A magazine with an eight-page-long centerfold. (Neal Starkman, Seattle)

4. AALTSMP:  PTA-slam: A contest featuring Yo’ Principal jokes.  (Jeff Hazle, Woodbridge, Va.)

Triple nerd scores: honorable mentions

AAELRBR
Barbale: What a Southern farmer uses for weight training. (Frank Barker, Towson, Md., a First Offender)

Arrable: Able to speak fluent pirate. (Doug Hamilton, College Park, Md.)

(R-LaBrea): Identifies reactionary old fossil in the California legislature (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

Barreal: Perfectly plausible as long as you’re drunk. “Wow, that Nobel Prize-winning undercover-agent billionaire rock star last night was just barreal.” (Michael Jacobs, Columbia, Md., a First Offender)

AALTSMP
ATM-slap: A gesture on the sidewalk made by someone suddenly forgetting his PIN. (Frank Osen)

Splat Ma: Sequel to “Throw Momma From the Train.” (Roy Ashley, Washington)

Patlas: A reference manual given to college freshmen in the mandatory “Good Touch, Bad Touch” seminar. (James Pierce, Charlottesville, Va.)

Slampat: The urge that results when your brilliant Invitational entry is missing from the paper. (Michael Kilby, Wildau, Germany)

AEUUTRB
Ur-beaut: A primal knockout, like Wilma Flintstone. (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

U-beaut: Synonym for the Aussie “bonzer,” not to be confused with “beaut ute,” which compliments a truck. (Brad Alexander, Wanneroo, Australia)

AIIUDQL
Liquiad: Little-known epic by Homer that evolved into “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” (Dixon Wragg. Santa Rosa, Calif.)

Luqidai: The Iraqi lottery. (Steve Dantzler, Gaithersburg, Md.)

Liquad: Fraternity Row. (Christopher Lamora, Guatemala City)

AOCBLGM
Macglob: The lump of “special sauce” that inevitably falls from the bun to your shirt. (Laura Clairmont, Ashburn, Va., who last got Invite ink in 1994)

Blogcam: Device for capturing images of unemployed people in pajamas. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)

Clogbam: It would be a great name for a laxative. (Dixon Wragg)

AOLDPRL
LardPol: A legislator who engages in adding pork to government programs. (And you thought I was going to make fun of Gov. Christie, and I was, but then he went and had that surgery and ruined everything.) (Dave Zarrow, Reston, Va.)

Prod-all: Medical tool doctors use to embarrass either sex. (Barry Koch, Catlett, Va.)

LOL-par: The expected number of “likes” for a post on Facebook. “Huh, my dancing-otter GIF barely made LOL-par.” (Rob Wolf, Gaithersburg, Md.)

Laplord: Dog. (Danielle Nowlin)

AOLBWMN
Manbowl: A commode in which the seat automatically adjusts itself to the upright position. (Robert Schechter, Dix Hills, N.Y.)

B-L-Woman: A favorite triple-decker sandwich at the Cannibal Cafe. (Elden Carnahan)

Womban: Word to replace “woman” in GOP health-care legislation (Ann Martin, Bracknell, England)

IOEWDRG
Wordgie: A Scrabble play so devastating that it makes your opponent squirm in his seat. (Larry Gray, Union Bridge, Md.)

Godwire: The red emergency phone on the pope’s desk. (Robert Schechter)

GrowDie: Is that all there is? (Dave Zarrow)

AUYMSPG
Pygma: A tiny but formidable family matriarch. (Danielle Nowlin)

Guymap: “Yeah, I’m pretty sure I know where it is.” (Danielle Nowlin)

Yumgasp: Last breath before food coma sets in. With a yumgasp, Nick collapsed on the couch to watch Thanksgiving Day football. (Mike Gips, Bethesda, Md.)

MuyGaps: What they call our border fence. (Dave Zarrow)

OOINKLM
Moolink: Diner slang for beef sausage: “Gimme Adam and Eve on a raft, two blowout patches, moolink on the side!” (Dan O’Day, Alexandria, Va.)

Kilomon: The person who supplies the Jamaican Gold. (John Shea, Philadelphia)

Minkloo: Liberace’s toilet seat cover. (Dave Zarrow; Daniela Ganelin, Rockville, Md., a First Offender)

Kinloom: The period right before the holidays. (Joy Sibley, Fairfax, Va., a First Offender) [Joy actually is up to Ink. No. 2: she got her FirStink for Week 1016]

EEUXTPM
Exmute: A mime after you drop a brick on his foot. (Jeff Hazle)

Meetpux: What you hope your teeth won’t do during a hockey game. (Nan Reiner, Alexandria, Va.)

Exputem: I’m not sure what it is, but it’s stuck to the bottom of your shoe. (Dixon Wragg)

EIUMLNM
Mumline: Point in an argument with a spouse when you stop talking, if you know what’s good for you. (Jeff Brechlin, Eagan, Minn.)

Lum-mine: A famed source of exquisite nuggets of wit and rare gems of extraordinary cleverness. (Ray Lum, Arlington, Va.)

More ScrabbleGrams neologisms in two weeks: in the print paper on June 23, online June 20. (The results of the haiku-to-Mars contest, Week 1023, will run a week later.)

See the Empress’s online column The Style Conversational (posted late Thursday afternoon), in which she discusses today’s new contest and results along with news about the Loser Community — and you can vote for your favorite among the inking entries, since you no doubt figured the Empress chose the wrong winner. If you’d like an e-mail notification each week when the Invitational and Conversational are posted online, write to the Empress at losers@washpost.com (note that in the subject line) and she’ll add you to the mailing list. And on Facebook, join the far more lively group Style Invitational Devotees and chime in.

Next week’s results: What’s the Diff?, or Sim-Hilarities, our Week 1022 contest, a perennial in which we supplied a list of 16 random items and asked you to tell us how any two were alike or different.

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