Complete List of Back Talk Winners


Winners of our “Mondegreens contest”:

The Beatles lyric, “We all live in a yellow submarine,” was misheard as “We all live and are jealous of Marie”

A new holy trinity: “The Father, the Son, and In the Hole You Go”

A revisionist chant for Macbeths witches: “Boil and bubble, toilet trouble”

Winners of our “Sharpening Old Saws” contest:

Instead of “please hang up and dial again,” “please disconnect and reconnect at a later time” (Alex Ziemianski)

For “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “the blog is mightier than the suicide bomb.” (Joe Claro)

“Tap on polymer” rather than “knock on wood” (Sean Comerford)

Winner of our App’d Words Contest:

Net-a-tête, glancing any one’s cell phone while conversing with another person (Rohit Garg)

Carpalneck, the stiff neck that results from continually looking at one’s cell screen (Joyce Bevic)

Terminal anxiety, the apprehension felt when one’s cell battery is running low with no power source in sight (James Cole)

Juiceville, the crowds that congregate around outlets in airports (Joyce Bevic)

Winner of our Antosyms Contest:

“Come on down to our house/Come on up to our house”: Henry Greenspan

caretaker/caregiver: Marty Jamison

slim chance/fat chance: Mark S. Anderson

Winner of our Eponyms Contest:

Trump: a man whose hair is obviously a fake color and is combed over in a sad attempt to hide baldness (Joe Claro)

Winners of our Contranyms Contest:

Waxing my skis beneath the waxing moon, I find myself waxing poetic. Not worthy of a tote-bag? Well! I am truly nonplussed that it leaves you nonplussed. (David Brunelle)

The problem was traced to an oversight by the oversight committee. (Dave Clark)

The logger topped a hot chocolate with whipped cream, then topped a tree with his chain saw. (Eric Bye)

Winners of our Annoying -ize words contest:

inquirize: Larry Ward

schadenfreudize: Hannah Lee Jones

spinachize: Priscilla Long

Winners of our hybrid words contest:

stephood: Miriam Ben-Yoseph

stephood: Colleen Richards

irretextable: Cindy Anderson

Winners of our euphemisms contest:

Putting on weight in middle age: midlife girth enhancement (Erin Lupfer)

Living with one’s parents after college: inter-generational cohabitation(Emily Coolidge Toker)

Eating heart-hostile food: lipo-loading (Rob Armstrong)

Gossiping:  collecting and disseminating social information (Rochelle Levine)

Winners and Honorable Mentions of our neologism contest:

1. Staying seated during a standing ovation; those who stay seated: Novation, Novators

Winner: Joyce Bevc, Philadelphia (Later identical submissions by Nora Kruger, Lora-Ellen McKinney, Gardiner Champlin, Rick Farley, et al. Great minds think alike. However, if multiple winning submissions exist, only the earliest will be awarded a prize.)

Honorable mentions:  in seatu, recouchants  


2. The glow produced by multiple electronic devices being used in a dark environment: Eglow

Winner: Donald Cohen, Pasadena, Calif. (Later submission by Sherrel Harris)

Honorable mentions:  aurora digitalis, aurora gadgetalis, digital dusk, technodawn


3. Long-term indebtedness due to student loans: Edudebt

Winner: Geri Bloch, New York (Later submissions by Sherrel Harris, Ian Mac an Ghaill, Gail Mauner, Nora Kruger)

Honorable mention: sheepskinned


4. Those who would rather text than talk: Thumbers

Winner: Steve Enerellab (Later submissions by Marie Blanchard, Greg Edwards, Joseph Donovan, Robin Runia)

Honorable mentions: textroverts, yellowpagers (for those who remember about letting fingers do the walking)


5.  Unwelcome email attachments; those who continually send them: Attachers

Winner: Lora-Ellen McKinney (Later submission by Ardie Geldman)

Honorable mentions: botherymailers, attachieurs


6.   A closeted gay politician who opposes rights for gays: Wide-Stancer

Winner: Vlae Kershner (Later submission by Hugo Saurny)

Honorable mention: gaynaysayer


7.  A compulsion to coin words and phrases; one who compulsively coins them: Coinophilia

Winner: Nora Kruger

Honorable mention: neologician (“accompanied by neologasm – feeling of having successfully coined a phrase!”)

Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.

Ralph Keyes is the author, most recently, of The Hidden History of Coined Words, which has just been published.


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