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life in these alpha times
caught red-handed playing with my words
by tracey l. kelley (@TraceyLKelley)

Whether you’re --

a Sniglet lover:
Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex.

a Spoonerism/Copular Pulture fan:
“chipping the flannel” = flipping the channel.

a Washington Post Style Invitational devotee:
Patient and patent: Drug companies will wring every penny out of each one before it expires. (Ben Aronin, White Plains, N.Y.)

or a Balderdash champion:
That would be me. I gots the mad skillz, baby --

one thing is obvious: you like to play with words.

You nasty, nasty thing, you.

Word people pun. Word people rhyme. Word people will actually spend $9.75 to watch other word people work crossword puzzles.

Mathematicians don’t have nearly this much fun. Only two students and the crazy homeless guy in the corner play along when a mathematician stands up in a bar and hollers, “I know! Let’s all recalibrate the primary Deztle equation and see if we can make the Earth explode!”

Word people may be snarky, but we’re safe.

Is word manipulation a mind game? Sure. Are we grandstanding when we dart off on a pun run? Certainly. So history buffs can memorize -– big deal. They aren’t actually in control of world events or anything.

I’m not claiming word people are superior -– only that our base of knowledge must be bigger, broader and badder to find a connection in everything from polytechnics to Plato, commerce to “Come on Eileen,” meconium to Mt. Rushmore.

All that and a bag of Combos from just 26 letters.

As a pleasant diversion from your every day, I’ve selected a Snigletish sleight of hand for my monthly parlor trick, hoping you’ll have a knee-snerk reaction to some of the definitions.

Amanteur: A local television anchor or newspaper reporter on his or her first international assignment.

Apostromania: The uncontrollable urge to use possessive apostrophes in inappropriate places, such as “Dog Run’s For Sale” and “Burger’s, Hotdog’s and Pizza Slice’s.”

Bloggeral: The endless blathering on blogs regarding topics such as bodily functions, eating habits and whining.

Celebarity: A nonprofit organization primarily known for nonsensical celebrity affiliations.

Confectionist: A person who sorts M&Ms by color before consuming.

Dried Ooo: Tactile residual left behind from lovemaking.

Etibriquette: Knowing which plastic fork to use first at a barbeque.

Fanticipation: Waiting outside a restaurant or hotel to see a favorite actor/performer.

Firthiness: A coquettish reaction to Colin Firth. Not to be confused with Depptheria, the gasping scream emitted upon seeing Johnny Depp.

Flixclutter: Popularized by Intrepid Media contributor Patrick Clapp, it’s the never-watched Netflix disc that sits on top of the TV.

Gloopig: A strip of clear, stringy adhesive used to stick plastic cards to paper.

Hesihate: The act of walking up fast behind a really slow moving person only to have to stop and then curse the person for it.

Icetap: The dance to avoid the ice falling to the floor from the ice dispenser.

Iraqnaphobia: The irrational fear that George W. Bush may actually be right.

Joeping: A joke made at Joe Procopio’s expense.

Klingon: The 42-year-old sci-fi geek that won’t leave his mother’s basement.

Labestration: The practice of scraping the beer label off the bottle with your fingernail.

Licklicious: Showing appreciation for food by sucking it off your fingertips.

Lotknot: The dried nugget of lotion at the end of the spigot.

Macacafication: The act of singling out someone of a particular culture in a group setting for no apparent reason.

M-Meeping: Punctuating a conversation with sound effects.

Nixpix: To disregard every movie choice presented to you.

Oberation: A situation in which a surgical team strips you naked, places you prone on a gurney and scolds you about your bad habits.

Plutoed: To be released from an organization or downsized from a previous standing.

Paristrophe: The end result of something being done simply for the exposure by someone less talented, qualified or experienced.

Rapetitious: The overuse of one’s name in one’s own song, either by you or the cadre of others singing on the song.

Squeamp: Hand constriction from palming a computer mouse for too long.

Terradactylize: To shriek in a high-pitched manner. Common practice among two-year-olds in restaurants and high school girls in practically any situation.

Ticketlit: The happy smiley-faced message left on your check by the server.

Trump l’oeil: “The Donald’s” hairpiece.

Viscouscous: A starchy grain stuck to the side of the pan.

In the true collaborative spirit of wordsmithing, this is an interactive column. Feel free to use the discussion section at the right to mock up a few definitions of your own.

Otherwise known as betchanetics: the act of trying to best others at their own game.


Tracey likes to shake things up and then take the lid off. She also likes to keep the peace, especially in a safe, fuzzy place. Writer, editor, producer, yogini, ('cause yoger or yogor simply doesn't work) by day, rabid WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething! player by night. You can follow her on Twitter: @traceylkelley or @tkyogaforyou

more about tracey l. kelley


we need an ice cream
and other things overheard on a candidate's tour bus
by tracey l. kelley
topic: humor
published: 2.26.07

god for president 2012
the official statement
by tracey l. kelley
topic: humor
published: 3.28.12


robert melos
8.30.06 @ 1:39a

I like to alphabetise my M&Ms. I guess I'm just lazy.

sandra thompson
8.30.06 @ 7:56a

That was just wonderful! Shrinks used to call these things "neologisms" and considered them just one little sign of a deranged mind. Schizophrenics were always good at neologisms, but they usually weren't very funny. People in manic phase were also good at it but funnier than schizophrenics. Now there are contests for the best of these wonderful things and those of us who are only "normally" dysfunctional get a little glory when we're really good at it. You, Tracey, are REALLY good at it.

Remember: Inspector Morse was more loved and respected because he created crossword puzzles than because he drove that Jaguar or loved opera or actually solved those murders.

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 9:12a

You, Tracey, are REALLY good at it.

Thank you, ma'am.

I think. Deranged mind 'n all. :) I challenge you to come back on with a few of your own.

lisa r
8.30.06 @ 9:16a

I nearly sent Tracey an e-mail last night inquiring as to what exactly a "flerd" was. Now that I've read her article, permit me to translate the teaser:

whip your flerds = flip your words

*pats self on back*

Let me get some more coffee in me and maybe I can come up with something of my own.

Incidentally, the best spoonerism I ever heard was "Rindercella" by Archie Campbell. Who can forget that she "slopped her dripper"?


dave lentell
8.30.06 @ 9:22a

You know what would be the coolest thing about this list Tracey? If someday, maybe a couple of months down the road, you're in some chat room, or some coffee shop and you hear someone you've never met using some of these words in conversation.

I personally plan to immediately begin using nixpix, Depptheria and terradactylize (for starters) as part of my jokabulary. You know... a list of funny words used in every day language to incite laughter?

Okaaaaaay.... so I suck at this game.

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 9:28a

Jo/el was responsible for the teaser - probably more Jael, as she and I had a conversation about Copular Pulture not too long ago and she got wiggly.

Smoprah, the halk show toast.

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 9:29a

I love Jokabulary!

lisa r
8.30.06 @ 9:32a

Now that my computer is back to communicating with the world, try these on for size:

Flutterby--what a butterfly does when it flits past your nose.

Get your tang tungled--what happens when you talk so fast you trip over your words.

jael mchenry
8.30.06 @ 9:59a

I adore the Capitol Steps' Copular Pulture, so I was indeed responsible for "whip your flerds."

Another classic from their work: "A lady shady with a barge lust!" Not to mention Lonica Moo-insky.

It's different when they're spoken.

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 10:47a

Incidentally, the best spoonerism I ever heard was "Rindercella" by Archie Campbell. Who can forget that she "slopped her dripper"?

I'm friends with a performer, Terry Foy, who has an act that is entirely done in spoonerisms. He goes by the stage name Zilch the Torysteller. He does a hilarious version of Rindercella ("He pissadeared! Yeah, left a piddle luddle might in the little of the marking rot. She was so pissadointed...") as well Loldigocks and the Bee Threars, and Jomeo and Ruliet. I sit through his shows and find that I can't stalk traight for hours afterward.

dave lentell
8.30.06 @ 11:10a

Another classic from their work: "A lady shady with a barge lust!" Not to mention Lonica Moo-insky.

Would you say then that such a person could be considered "breastacular?"


tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 11:36a

Yes. Yes it would.

Boy chimes in:

Hey, if you audibly chomp into an ear of corn or a potato chip, is that a soundbite?

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 11:47a

wasabeen: the traumatic non-existence of certain spicy nuts

clitmus test: the breaking-in period for a new vibrator

ramenatrix: a woman skilled in the art of Japanese noodle preparation (eg, Tampopo)

nom de plame: the name of an unnamed source who names names

cruisifiction: a phantom baby; (eg, Suri)

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 11:52a

monopolygamist: being the only fringe Mormon prophet pedophile on the FBI's Most Wanted List

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:02p

fantasm: a brief, chilling feeling down your spine that makes you really wanta getta fanta

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:06p

retcondom: stopping halfway through sex to apply birth control, believing that it will make up for not using it when you started

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 12:08p

I knew I could count on Russ to finish writing my column. Wheeeeee!

The gauntlet has been thrown, people - step up.

Lisa, Boy and I actually use flutterby all the time! I believe he got it from his mom.

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:09p

earaq: what you feel when the news from the Middle East is too much to take

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:18p

bauered: when a prisoner is killed before he can be interrogated

dykotomy: when writers hedge on a popular character's sexuality in order to build ratings

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:19p

intepid: the dismal level of response on this thread by other IM staffers

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:28p

sighlons: sexy androids played by Grace Park, Tricia Helfer and Lucy Lawless

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:31p

toddlurch: an unbalanced 17-month-old, walking in dizzying steps

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:35p

typherbole: the recent tendency of national news outlets to overcompensate during tropical weather coverage

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:39p

flaymates: the friends you can -- and do -- regularly beat in any type of competition

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:42p

hexadecibel: cursing at someone playing their music too loud

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:49p

agapie: the unconditional love of pie

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:53p

baconundrum: the moral quandry over taking the last piece of bacon at breakfast

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:56p

equinine: that cheap tonic water from Giant that tastes like horse pee

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 12:58p

russhour: the past 70 minutes, during which I have kept this thread moving

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 1:01p

hurricant: an overhyped tropical weather threat that repeatedly fails to materialize, to the chagrin of CNN (eg, Ernesto)

mike julianelle
8.30.06 @ 1:01p

unimprussed: my reaction to Russ' past 70 minutes.

ken mohnkern
8.30.06 @ 1:04p

This isn't funny (or a sniglet), but I once worked on a project with some financial advisors who all used the word "indice" as the singular of "indices" (which is plural of "index"). I absolutely loved that.

Is it just me or does "neologism" sound dirty?


russ carr
8.30.06 @ 1:05p

impresscalade: any of a variety of bloated SUVs showcasing the driver's priority of image over sensibility

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 1:07p

neologasm: the frisson felt when coining a particularly clever word

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 1:07p


russ carr
8.30.06 @ 1:09p

kangaroofies: the Australian date rape drug

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 1:10p

russtrated: my reaction to my inability to keep up with Carr

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 1:10p

ewefies: the New Zealand date rape drug

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 1:13p

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 1:10p

russtrated: my reaction to my inability to keep up with Carr

It's like merging onto the freeway - you just have to gun it and head out.

I'd like to actually play a lot more, but I'm on deadline. Seeing as I started the car, though, I feel accomplished enough for one day.

dave lentell
8.30.06 @ 1:14p

Parentmeciums – Parents who do little or nothing when their kids start to Terradactylize others around them.

flustrated - Someone who is so flustered and frustrated that they can’t pronounce either word correctly. (See: My friend Kevin)

backronym - Coming up with an acronym BEFORE finding a definition that fits it. (See: Common Federal Government Practices)

sackreligious The person at the grocery store who takes it personally if you don’t ask them “paper or plastic” before you begin to bag their groceries.

remaindeere - Unsold lawnmowers at the John Deere dealership at end of season. Not to be confused with remaindeer – (i.e. reindeer who didn’t make Santa’s cut).

olivegarchy - A government in which power is in the hands of a few martini drinkers.

pursonivacation - A lady’s handbag in Hawaii

versa-tile The blank tile in Scrabble.

blamestorming - When a group of people sit around and try to decide who among the absent is responsible for the group’s overall failure.

retox - The first thing most people do when they get out of rehab.

sarchasm The space between a sarcastic person and the person who doesn’t get it.

thumbstruck When you miss with a hammer.

mike julianelle
8.30.06 @ 1:22p

Sarchasm rules.

dave lentell
8.30.06 @ 1:56p

vagueabond When you don’t know the value of your Government Savings Bond

caffiend What you turn into when you don’t get your morning cup of coffee

Fidelity Blind faith in an aging communist dictator.

exstream A dried up creek.

Annalytical Someone who actually bought one of Ann Coulter’s books. (related term: Annalgesic – what you need after reading one of Ann Coulter’s books)

shopping maul A post-Christmas melee.

cellphony Someone who pretends to be talking on their cell phone in order to make themselves seem important.

bitchcraft The ability to get people to do what you want by being mean to them.

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 4:04p

"caffiend What you turn into when you don’t get your morning cup of coffee

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 4:19p

guitarded: me, even after eight years of guitar lessons

dave lentell
8.30.06 @ 4:43p

caffiend What you turn into when you don’t get your morning cup of coffee


Did I steal this from you? I'm like the Borg... I assimilate so many of these types of things and "make them my own." I forget where I got them and assume they're my own. Bad form, I know.

For example, "sarchasm" - I probably got that from Readers Digest. Or maybe a fortune cookie. Who knows?

Assuma - When you make an ass of Uma Thurman.

And, for my last offering, (and I know I might get beat up for this one... but it hit me over lunch and I can't stop chuckling about it).

Jaelbait - What Jael McHenry uses to catch fish.

Have a day everyone. A nice one if you like.

juli mccarthy
8.30.06 @ 4:45p

No, Dave, you didn't steal it from me, I'm stealing it from YOU. I love that.

jael mchenry
8.30.06 @ 5:03p

Jaelbait would be, like, cheese.

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 5:18p

Tears. At the corners of my eyes.

So Dave couldn't resist the lure of Russ. Fabulous.

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 5:30p

irrussistable: yours truly

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 5:35p

Oh holy crap. I've created a monster.

Carrtel When Russ starts to play along on your column and completely takes over.

tracey kelley
8.30.06 @ 5:36p

From Boy:

Synchroethnicity: Wishing one of the members of the Police had been Asian or Black.

russ carr
8.30.06 @ 5:59p

traceyotomy: the surreptitious removal of the sarcastic laugh that's stuck in your throat by means of a well-timed cough

lisa r
8.30.06 @ 10:56p

inCarrigible: Russ Carr on a roll in this column.

Thanks to Russ, I just had to clean seltzer off my computer screen.


russ carr
8.31.06 @ 12:05a

Hey, it's Tracey's court, I'm just tossing the rock for 3s.

alex b
8.31.06 @ 1:14a

Wow Tracey, this column is hysterical. "Dried Ooo" has made my girlfriends snort and call me crazy. The discussion going on is even greater. Russ, I think you're incarruptible. I'm so not carrismatic next to you.

dave lentell
8.31.06 @ 9:26a

Oh the Carrnage!

I bow to the master. : )

russ carr
8.31.06 @ 11:06a

You're just lentelling it like it is.

russ carr
8.31.06 @ 11:48a

hamburgurgle: the recurring regurgative burps that come following a meal of fast food

manteloupe: a thick-witted man who appears gruff, but who actually has a sweet disposition

bare conditioning: when the only way to cool off is to get naked

alcohaulics: the long parade of guys carrying 12-packs of Bud Light through the supermarket express lane on Friday evenings

dave lentell
8.31.06 @ 12:02p

Now you're just getting Carried away...

Pander Bear The most exploitative of the bear family.

Jocktapus Someone who believes he can get away with groping women simply because he's a famous athlete.

Carbage A really crappy automobile (See: My 1994 Ford Tempo with 177,000 miles on it)

Ohnosecond A unit of time measurement occuring betwen when you just said something you shouldn't have and when you actually realize you shouldn't have said it.

she-mail Constant, repetitive, never-ending, nagging e-mail reminders from your wife/girlfriend.


tracey kelley
9.1.06 @ 1:11a

It's the Carr-Lentell Deathmatch!

Thank you for playing along, boys (and some girls.) Glad I could get the party started. When I have a bit more brain power, I'm coming back with a vengence.

The rest of you won't have anything to do on Friday - you can play along, too.

russ carr
5.8.07 @ 1:54p

breastidigitation: copping a feel to determine whether they're really that perky or she's just wearing a Miracle Bra.

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