Skip to Content

Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: Brectitude, huwbris, posteritoys – new ways with old words

20 May 2018

9:30 AM

20 May 2018

9:30 AM

Inspiration for the latest challenge came from across the pond, courtesy of the Washington Post’s Style Invitational column, whose regular neologism-themed contests are always a blast. You were asked to take an existing word and alter it by a) adding a letter, b) changing a letter, and c) deleting a letter — and to supply definitions for all three new words.

Though many entries were partially successful, few competitors managed to score a bull’s-eye in all three sections of the challenge. A fiver per definition goes to those below who hit the spot with just one or two.

Hugh King
Brectitude: an exaggerated display of moral seriousness in discussion of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union
Pectitude: a posture adopted to show to greatest advantage the muscles of the anterior chest wall.

Frank Upton
I-Fi: to use the internet wholly or principally for the purposes of self-aggrandisement; to construct a vainglorious virtual identity

George Simmers
Bodcast: Antony Gormley statue

John O’Byrne
Abbacus: a loud malediction uttered after a legendary pop group decides against a reunion tour

Jane Street
Abbattoir: a place where Swedish bands are sent to be slaughtered

D.A. Prince
Lizerature: the body of publications detailing all aspects of the daily life of Queen Elizabeth II

And now over to those clever clogs who pulled off complete sets. Bill Greenwell and Basil Ransome-Davies are rewarded with £40 apiece for their multiple variations; Adrian Fry and Max Gutmann each pocket £20.

Basil Ransome-Davies
Reeferendum: a national yes-or-no vote on the issue of legalising cannabis
Refereedum: the closed, secretive world of professional FA match officials
Refrendum: website offering advice to those who have impetuously broken with a Facebook friend and want to repair the breach

Posteritoy: butt plug
Pooterity: absurd sense of self-importance, having ideas above one’s social and cultural station, etc.
Osterity: policy of underfunding literacy programmes while redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich and the public to the private

Bill Greenwell
smarmoset: community of fashion-aping hipsters
malmoset: serial-killer collective in Scandi Noir films
marmoet: adulterated champagne

huwbris: pride in being Welsh
hobris: excessive pride of heat-winner in Masterchef
hubis: overweening pride in male partner

marianade: drinkable holy water
mirinade: undrinkable Japanese shandy
marinae: superior mooring docks owned by Vatican City

angorak: woolly rainwear
amorak: zip-together rainwear
anoak: rainwear hewn from English wood

parodiast: producer of hateful spoofs
purodist: perfectionist copycat
paroist: mimic in appearance only

Adrian Fry
Terminous: railway equivalent of the London black cab drivers ‘Knowledge’ by which station staff always know where every train is going better than any sign board or timetable passengers have consulted.
Verminus: entirely theoretical finishing line of the rat race.
Erminus: marks deducted for excessive hesitation during a viva.

Max Gutmann
Hoticulture: the idea that the highest virtue to which a woman can strive is physical attractiveness. Hiring the pretty young weather girl over several trained meteorologists was hoticulturally sound.
Horniculture: the cultivation of an environment catering to men’s needs, particularly those of a sexual nature. Horniculture dictates that the television station’s manager has sole discretion over the choice of a weather girl, and — as his casting couch attests — of the criteria
Whorticulture: the cultivation in women of attitudes supportive of horniculture. The new weather girl’s mastery of whorticulture is seen in her delight with her new position — and the positions she took to obtain it.

Your next challenge is to supply a diary entry written by a well-known diarist (living or dead) describing the wedding day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Please email entries of up to 150 words (providing a word count) to by midday on 30 May.

Show comments