Lappuccino: being clumsy with your coffee

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

I’ve been accused over my life as a journalist for a ton of misprints.

Unfortunately, it happens to all of us involved in a world of words. Trust me, I’ve butchered more than one word in my lifetime and if my publisher will afford me the opportunity to remain employed, it will happen again.

Back in the day, we in the newspaper business had a room full of proofreaders. That’s no longer the case…we’re now in a world full of computer programs, all with spell check. But even that does not prevent a mistake from slipping through on occasion.

A few years ago I stumbled across a contest known as the Mensa Invitational. It’s an annual event hosted by the Washington Post. They invite readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Among my favorites of past winners include:

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

Intaxicaton: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to begin with.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Bozone: The substance surrounding unintelligent people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. Based on the current state of things all over the world, the bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

My favorite submissions for the 2020 Mensa Invitational are as follows:

Skedawdle: The answer to the age old question, ”Should I stay or should I go?”

Polterguest: A noisy mischievous ghostly visitor.

Democritic: Judging the merits and faults of those not in the Party.

Hairassment: The stress associated with dying, blow drying, teasing, etc.

Freudulent: Deception and misrepresentation driven by an excess of libido.

Instagran: A cool senior citizen.

Politricks: Candidates making promises but with intentions of deceiving voters.

Lipstink: The after affect of kissing someone with bad breath.

Caramelt: Candy in a hot car.

Constevation: Wanting to be part of the green movement, but confused by its hypocrisy.

Comodian: An entertainer whose repertoire consists mainly of potty jokes. One of low humor.

Gnatitude: The place your temper(ament) goes after swatting at the little buggers around your eyes and face for several hours.

Kitteen: An overgrown kid who enjoys playing with balls of string.

Crustrated: Upset with one’s bread baking skills.

Artiface: The layers of makeup required to fool a prospective date.

Racketship: Clandestine shipments of drugs and laundered cash.

Misk: Why your glasses fog up when you put on your Covid protection.

Lappuccino: When you’re clumsy with your coffee.

Elephont: Really BIG type.

Reeferee: Most senior (highest?) quality control inspector at a cannabis grow-op.

Consliderate: Giving careful thought and attention to the eating of small hamburgers or cheeseburgers in front of others.

Exhoneration: Removing a judge from the bench.

Stuperstitious: Becoming extra sensitive to superstitions while under the influence.

Brunchitis: A severe ailment brought on by missing breakfast.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal