(Click here to skip down to the winning “balanced neologisms” from Week 1346)

As a man, the Bechdel Test I praise:
Sexist movies we must fix!
Our consciousness we have to raise
And stop demeaning you cute chicks.

Even if you don’t want it to, you stubborn fool, the English language continues inexorably to grow and change. And few have monitored those changes as precisely as our pals at Merriam-Webster, who’ve just issued a list of some three dozen (why not all, the Empress couldn’t tell you) of the more than 500 terms and new meanings they’ve added in recent months to their dictionary at m-w.com. (Some have been around for years but just now managed to charm their way into the editors’ hearts.) And so, for the second year running: Write a poem of eight lines or fewer featuring one or more of these recent additions to m-w.com, as in the example above by the totally woke humor columnist Gene Weingarten on the Bechdel test, which checks whether a movie contains a conversation between two women that’s not about a man, as well as other feminist criteria. Because we last did this contest a year ago, we’ll also include some words that were added this past April. NOTE: The terms must be used as they’re defined in the new m­-w.com listings. For instance, a poem on “inking” needs to refer to tattoos; it can’t be only about being published in The Style Invitational. The words below each have a link to M-W’s full definition; my Style Conversational column (wapo.st/conv1350 , published late Thursday, Sept. 19) lists the definitions so you won’t have to click on each word. Or you can go straight to m­-w.com.


Announced in April:
bug-out bag
snowflake (sensitive person)
screen time
unplug (from technology)
garbage time

Submit up to 25 entries at wapo.st/enter-invite-1350 (no capitals in the Web address).

Winner gets the Lose Cannon, our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives Hula Bird, a grass-skirted, lei-wearing, uke-strumming dashboard bobble-body of the Baltimore Orioles mascot, looking generally offensive to a wealth of sensibilities. Donated by whoever in The Post’s sports section left it on a table with a big Post-it saying “FREE.” Which by amazing coincidence exactly fits the Style Invitational second-prize budget.


Other runners-up win our “You Gotta Play to Lose” Loser Mug or our “Whole Fools” Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser magnets, “Too-Weak Notice” or “Certificate of (de) Merit.” First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener” (FirStink for their first ink). Deadline is Monday, Sept. 30; results published Oct. 20 in print, Oct. 17 online. See general contest rules and guidelines at wapo.st/InvRules. The headline “AlphabeteeZ” is by Dave Prevar: Chris Doyle wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at on.fb.me/invdev. “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day on Facebook at bit.ly/inkofday; 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 — this week, we define all the new terms — check it out at wapo.st/conv1350.


AlphabeteeZ: The 'balanced' neologisms of Week 1346

In Week 1346 we asked you to coin a word that was “alphabetically balanced,” in that its first and last letters were equidistant from the beginning and end of the alphabet: a word beginning with A and ending with Z, or B-Y, C-X, etc. — or Z-A, Y-B, etc. The Empress received some totally balanced words as well: The best of those was by Jesse Frankovich: Biwizardry: Extreme skill in two things. As in: “A world-class expert at both bragging and lying, the president demonstrates unparalleled biwizardry.”

4th place:

Gladjacent: Nearly happy. “Mom! I’m so glad you called … well, let’s say I’m gladjacent.” (Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)


3rd place:

Buyintology: Pseudo-religious cult where you have to sign over your life savings to join. (Raymond Gallucci, Frederick, Md.)


2nd place and the 'bathroom piano' toilet mat:

Brexity is the soul of witlessness. (Brendan Beary, Great Mills, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

G7-1 split: When the kingpin thinks the rest of the pins are lined up behind him, but in fact they're in the corner having a laugh at his expense. (Steve Smith, Potomac, Md.)

Wit's enD: Honorable mentions

Nausoleum: FedEx Field. (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

Eff-You-V: A Hummer. (Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

J-tranq: The calming effect of Justin Trudeau’s gaze on those who have endured great suffering. “After the long flight to Biarritz with President Trump, Melania was desperate for a little J-tranq.” (Steve Smith; Roger Dalrymple, Gettysburg, Pa.)


Hostilettos: High heels that are out to get your feet. (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidoc-ish: Amazingly wonderful, more or less. (John Glenn, Tyler, Tex.)


Hill-gotten gains: What lobbyists seek. (Jesse Frankovich)

Another totally balanced term — H-S, I-R, V-E, E-V, L-O: Hive lovers: Staffers who really enjoy a late night in their office cubicles. (Mark Deakin, Reston, Va., a First Offender)

Bezosexy: What you’d call a man who looks like a hundred billion dollars. (Steve Smith)

Dorkscrew: To stand up a blind date on looks alone. “I walked in, took one look, and dorkscrewed him before he even saw me through his taped-up glasses.” (Bob Kurlantzick, Potomac, Md.)


Fauxbeau: Someone you introduce to your matchmaking mother to keep her off your case. (Jeff Shirley, Richmond, Va.)

Hippocrampus: Brain freeze. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.)

Okaysional: Acceptable once in a while. (Raymond Gallucci)

Irkolator: A maddeningly slow coffee maker. (Stuart Anderson, Seattle)


JokeBBQ: Ribs served in some other part of the country. (Ward Kay, Vienna, Va.)

Lollipoo: Even state fairs won’t put THAT on a stick. (Frank Mann, Washington)

Mafiadon: Prehistoric creature whose bones are sometimes found in the swamps of New Jersey, many with broken knees. (Bird Waring, Larchmont, N.Y.)

Mitchagain: Kentucky’s nickname, according to frustrated Democrats. (Frank Mann)


Nerdy napalm: Inflammatory remarks like “Picard is better than Kirk,” which we ALL KNOW IS FALSE! (Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

Oedipol: A man who would do even you-know-what, if it would get him elected. (Tom Witte, Montgomery Village, Md.)

Potlick: A rather undignified approach to a church supper. (Duncan Stevens)

Preak: An oddball who goes to a racetrack to enjoy the infield mud. (Kevin Dopart, Washington; Jim Derby, Rockville, Md.)


Vuvuzelophone: The most unpopular marching band instrument ever. (Jeff Contompasis)

Wonderspread: Guaranteed in 14 days with the Sugary White Sandwich Bread diet! (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

Xenofrantic: Eek! Here come the tired! The poor! The non-WASP! Lock them up! (Adrienne Cadik, Alexandria,Va., a First Offender)


Bluffoonery: A White House news conference. (Kevin Dopart)

Galpost: Expectation that changes when women attain it. “Ms. Clinton, you’re much more qualified and knowledgeable than your opponent, so we’re going to move the galposts and demand that everyone want to have a beer with you.” (Duncan Stevens)

Stable-ish: Describing somebody , a genius perhaps, who’s quite consistent and reliable except when they’re totally not. (Sam Mertens)

Potusk:A city in Russia from which American presidential elections are conducted. (Stuart Anderson)


Orbán renewal: Ridding neighborhoods of undesirable elements, such as universities, journalists, anyone who criticizes you, etc. (Daniel Horner, Washington)

Bullaby: What a politician sings to get a baby to sleep. “When we pass breaks, then taxes will fall, and down will come riches, trickling to all.” (Jesse Frankovich)

Ménage à un: Think this when your weird roommate brags about his “threesome with twins.” (Chris Doyle)

Brophecy: “I dunno, dude, I don’t think three kegs are gonna be enough for all four quarters …” (Bill Dorner, Indianapolis)

Troubleshooing: $130K keeps the tattler away. (Gary Crockett)

Happenis: The joy of well-endowment, I imagine. (Ryan Martinez, Takoma Park, Md.)

Kvetchup: “Ugh, store brand? I’m not putting that on my burger!” (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

Brexity:Ill-informed, chaotic and predictably disastrous. “Mooning the judge prior to sentencing sure was a brexity move.” (Sam Mertens)

Zensylvania: The most peaceful state. (The northwestern part is so calm it’s Erie.) (Jesse Frankovich)

And Almost Last: Putink: The Style Invitational has been infiltrated by the Russians! (Ann Martin, Brentwood, Md.)

And Last: Tantalosing: Coming thiiiiis close to getting ink. (Brendan Beary)

And Even Laster: Neologisn’tm: One of the thousands of new-word ideas providing flooring material for the Empress’s cutting room. (Gary Crockett)

Still running — deadline Monday night, Sept. 23: Our contest featuring the Congressional Record. See wapo.st/invite1349.

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