Lucy Vickery

New word order | 17 May 2018

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In Competition No. 3048 you were invited 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.

Inspiration for this challenge came from across the pond, courtesy of the Washington Post’s Style Invitational column, whose regular neologism-themed contests are always a blast.

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 printed below who hit the spot with just one or two.

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.

Hugh King 

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

Frank Upton

Bodcast: Anthony Gormley statue

George Simmers

Abbacus: a loud malediction uttered after a legendary pop group decides against a reunion tour

John O’Byrne 

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

Jane Street

Lizerature: the body of publications detailing all aspects of the daily life of Queen Elizabeth II

D.A. Prince

As for the clever clogs who pulled off complete sets, £40 goes to Bill Greenwell and Basil Ransome-Davies for their multiple variations, and £20 to Adrian Fry and Max Gutmann.


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

Basil Ransome-Davies


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

Bill Greenwell 


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.

Adrian Fry


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.

Max Gutmann

No. 3051: royal treatment

You are invited 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 (wher-ever possible) entries of up to 150 words (providing a word count) to by midday on 30 May.