You mean, it’s okay if I’m a totally obsessive-compulsive neat freak?

DEFINITION: To suddenly discover that your most troublesome personality defect, for which you have been taking medication and/or therapy, is actually your greatest asset.

You mean, it's okay if I'm a totally obsessive-compulsive neat freak?

VERBOTICISMS: (Invented words created by the Verbotomy Writers)

Winfirmity: /win-fir-mit-ee/ Janet realised her Tourette’s Syndrome was a huge winfirmity when she became a phone sex operator. Etymology: win (or winning) + infirmity Created by: wysware.

Oddvantage: /od’ van tej/ The moment he read the classified ad for the position as a corporate doorstop, Bob’s lack of arms and legs turned from a handicap into an oddvantage. Etymology: odd + advantage Created by: jboehnker.

Incapacitasky: /in-ca-pa-si-tas-ky/ She was delirious when she found a position that embraced her inacpacitasky Etymology: incapacity + task Created by: Jabberwocky.

Abnormacea: /ab-nor-muh-see-uh/ The abnormacea of the situation was somewhat ironic. Etymology: abnormal + panacea Created by: Stevenson0.

To see more verboticisms for this definition go to:

Be Creative,

the create-a-word game

Oh please stay! And don’t worry about Robbie.

DEFINITION: The sense of discomfort created when “a couple” says you are welcome to stay, even though their behavior suggests that you are getting in the way.

Oh please stay! And don't worry about Robbie.

VERBOTICISMS: (Invented words created by the Verbotomy Writers)

Threedundancy: /three-dun-dans-ee/ He felt an acute sense of threedundancy when his hosts both nodded off at the table just before dessert Etymology: three + redundancy Created by: Jabberwocky.

Matecrasher: /mate-crash-er/ When Mindy and Robbie started making out on the living room couch after dinner, Ellen felt like a matecrasher and not the guest of the evening. Etymology: mate + gatecrasher Created by: Stevenson0.

Prolingsion: /Pro + Ling + shun/ Jenny & Pete really need to “get a room” because I’m sick of them and their prolingsion! Etymology: Pro (meaning pro as in positive) + ling (linger) + sion (intrusion) Created by: guesser.

Threesquirm: /three-skworm/ Shelly was tired of being the gooseberry, but she truly suffered from threesquirm and dispair, when her friends coupled brazenly in front of her. Etymology: threesome (a trio) + squirm (react with discomfort) Created by: petaj.

To see more verboticisms for this definition go to:

Be Creative,

the create-a-word game

The Petaj Splinterview

James chats with Petaj, winner of the inaugural Verbotomy Cup

James: Congratulations on your win! You are the very first player ever to win a Verbotomy Cup! Here are the final stats:

Petaj: I was so excited to win the inaugural Verbotomy Cup. Keeping track of my lead over the days led to a bit of clixation. Anyone would think I had refretish.

James: I don’t doubt that at all… Have you decided which Veroboticism you want printed on your Verbotmy Cup?

Petaj: A couple have asked which verbotomy I’ll choose to have on the cup, so I’ve given it some thought. Since “Insultant” was such a popular choice and it’s from last week I think it had better have the honours.

Petaj's Verbtomy Cup

James: Yes, that would be terrific, or perhaps even terrfiying, at the office.

Petaj: I’m looking forward to trading in my old mug at work.

James: And speaking of work, we recently posted another one of your definitions, which happens to be office-related.

DEFINITION: To create an illusion of busyness so that your co-workers, and most importantly your boss, never realize that you have absolutely nothing to do.
Create a Word or Read the Words

It's all strategic positioning.

Petaj: Thanks very much.

James: So what do you do?

Petaj: I’m a systems librarian.

James: Wow! No wonder you’re so smart. Do you think that Verbotomy is helping you sharpen your creative thinking skills?

Petaj: I spend quite a bit of time looking at ways to be innovative with technology in delivering library and information services. Verbotomy is exercise for the brain.

James: Dan Pink would love to hear you say that!

Petaj: And I think it helps me with cryptic crosswords too.

James: Yes, it’s a word game! By the way, I see that your have created over 100 Verboticisms. Congratulations.

Petaj: Thanks very much.

James: So let me ask you a question about creativity. How do you come up with your words?

Petaj: Sometimes they just pop into my head, but more often I come up with 2 or 3 possibilities and then play around with them using a thesaurus.

James: Creative play with verbotomizing thesaurus! So that’s the secret! Does it work every time?

Petaj: Occasionally I just can’t come up with anything I like.

James: Like when?

Petaj: For example, ” vehiciouscircle” which I didn’t think would rate at all

James: That was a number one word-of-the-day, wasn’t it?

Petaj: Topped the votes for that day.

James: Yes, it’s funny how hard it is to judge your own creative work. One of the reasons I think that your words are so highly-rated, is that you always create a great story to go with your verboticisms. Where do you get your inspirations these stories? Is it from people you see at work or at home?

Petaj: I’m not sure I’m all that astute an observer, but I don’t usually base my stories on anyone in particular. I just let my imagination take over.

James: Really? Not based on true life? What about your famous dish-duty definition?

DEFINITION: A discussion among family members, or room mates, which often turns into a full-blown yelling match, and which seems to occur every night whenever it’s time to do the dishes.
Create a Word or Read the Words.

But they're not my dishes!

Petaj: Although my definition for fighting over the dish duties was inspired by real life debates over the dishwasher — they have never degenerated into browls!

James: Obviously, you are very a creative writer. Is this something that has always come naturally to you?

Petaj: I enjoyed creative writing years ago at school, but this is the only place I do it now.

James: What role do you think that the community of plays in the creative process.

Petaj: Absolutely. I think participating in a community like this gets the brain juices pumping. It’s a workout for the brain. And on a more pragmatic level, when I’m feeling a bit stuck, checking out what the other players have already created will give me a clue or two for consulting the thesaurus.

James: Are your fellow verbotomists helping you create your ideas?

Petaj: I particularly like it when players take the definition on a completely different tangent to the way I was thinking. It’s much more challenging. I have a few favourites. Purpleartichokes and Jabberwocky can be relied on to come up with some excellent words.

James: Yes they are wonderful writers. How do you decide which word to vote for?

Petaj: I like to wait for a good number of entries before I vote, and I like to see all of the entries not just ones in a single verbroom. So when the community is being very creative, I get clixation trying to view as many words as possible.

James: I know what you mean, I’m getting the feeling that you’re going to make a suggestion…

Petaj: Yes, if all the words for a single day could be displayed randomly on one page (like a tag cloud, but without the weighting of course) that would make it much easier.

James: I love the tag cloud idea. It would be so cool. It may take a bit of time to develop it thoufgh… However, right now we do have a page that lists every word of the day in alphabetical order. Go to Verbotocracy: Today and select open. It will list every word of the day in alphabetical order. See:

Now this page doesn’t show the sentences. If you want to see a complete listing with the details go to Verboticism RSS page. To get to is click on the RSS clicklet at the bottom of the Verboticism page. You can see the RSS output page here:

James: Any other suggestions?

Petaj: These splinterviews seem like a great way to feature players and don’t always have to be from a weekly winner.

James: Good idea. We’ll see if we can get more people involved. Thanks for participating in this splinterview.

Petaj: Thanks for the great game. It has generated a nice community of players.

Verbotoweek: The Cup of Verbotomy, Part Deux

Purpleartichokes Wins The Second Verbotomy Cup!

Congratulations to purpleartichokes for winning this week’s Verbotomy and the second Verbotomy Cup. The questions is: Will she choose one of her own words to have imprinted on her mug, or one of the many brilliant words from our other sharp witted verbotomists?

See the final results here:

Verbotoweek in a short summarized version

Verbotomy was a cruel taskmasker this week forcing all of us to refretish our thoughts like crazed workastallics running around in a vehiciouscircle. To circumnearthegate the cyclick exertsham of nyetworking, we played micehockey in an attempt at slackofflage. This quickly developed into an addclicktion and we began to moccupy our days in ecstickit escaptasy of funemployment encouraged by the libertrim and parkingsloth in our midst. The week ended with most of us doing a deliverdance in anticipation for the weekend, getting off the carouselect of managingdelector. Hopefully, the refreshology effect of the days off will enable us to appreciate the clixation of our exertsham and we can cruisepatrol into next week mcmoshing with eagerness.

Top five verboticisms of the week:

  1. taskmasker Created by: purpleartichokes
  2. refretish Created by: galwaywegian
  3. workastallic Created by: Jabberwocky
  4. funemployment Created by: Alchemist
  5. clixation Created by: ohwtepph

The chit-chatty gets catty:

Here’s a little chit-chat about our cross-shaving wampeter on May 2nd:

Verbotomy – 2007-05-02: 01:27:00
Today’s definition was suggested by Bulletchewer.
Thank you Bulletchewer! ~ James

mplsbohemian – 2007-05-02: 10:58:00
That picture is so disturbing on so many levels.

mplsbohemian – 2007-05-02: 11:01:00
Um, oy, that must have come off so transphobic. :\

Verbotomy – 2007-05-02: 11:11:00
About the picture… I have received a suggestion that this young lady’s allegiances are less than clear, so I have prepared an alternative portrait. Please see: Being Clear About our Allegiances. Thanks ~ James

Jabberwocky – 2007-05-02: 12:59:00
Yikes!! the options are even more disturbing – pretty soon she’ll look like Chewbacca

purpleartichokes – 2007-05-02: 13:26:00
OMG! It’s an American Hairwolf in Toondon! (Or perhaps she has a hairmone problem.)

wordmeister – 2007-05-02: 16:30:00
Chewytobacca? I wonder what JediJawa thinks of that?

Bulletchewer – 2007-05-02: 16:45:00
Always love stirring up debate, but credit’s due the artist. For some strange reason forgotten in a dream, I only ever thought of this definition applying to the male of the species…

wordmeister – 2007-05-02: 17:26:00
It appears as if this wampeter definitely needs a waxing!

Read a beard full of verboticisms here and see James alternative pictures at Being Clear About our Allegiances.

Not a loss for words, just missed a few votes

These words didn’t get many votes because some of you vote at 05:00 am EST before you even see some of the better words. If you held off you could have voted for one of these great words, in my humble opinion of course!!!

Your bumbling bobserver,


The Verbotomy Splinterview: JediJawa’s Right-Brain

Verbotomy Game Inventor, James Gang, chats with jedijawa, winner of Dan Pink’s Right-Brain.

James Gang: Congratulations on your win jedijawa! Here are the final stats:

Weeklink has called you “creative genius and fierce competitor”, so I am sure that all the other Verbotomists have one question they would like to ask: How do you come up with your words?

Sometimes the words pop into my head, but I usually try to think of synonyms for the concepts that go into the definition. Then I try to play off of those, if they have a good sound to them, or can be mashed together with another word. If I’m having a hard time, I’ll see what direction that the other players are taking so that I don’t end up repeating what someone else has already done.

James Gang:
Did you find Verbotomy harder when you first started playing? Did your creative approach change or evolve as you played?

When I first started, I did find it hard to think in terms of creating new words to the definitions, as I tended to over-think it. Now I try to let something come naturally and may look up a few synonyms to jog my memory or to get the creative process started.

James Gang: And now, as award-winning Verbotomist, is your creative approach different than when you started?

jedijawa: I don’t know how the others do it, but there are some long time members of this site who have been consistently amazing! And I don’t know how they do it every day like that, or how I managed to win the contest that week. All I can say is that I’m glad I came up with “blahg” or I wouldn’t have made it.

James Gang: Have your heard of Dan Pink before? What do you think of his idea that Right-Brainers (i.e. creative people ) will rule the future?

jedijawa: I have not heard of Dan Pink but I am pessimistic about the future of right brained-thinkers.

James Gang: Do you consider yourself a “Right-Brainer”?

I fancy myself a Right-Brainer but I’m afraid that creativity is dying out in society with the proliferation of so much pacifying technology that eats up people’s time. Nobody goes to see theater, the symphony, or live performance art anymore because they can get all of that on their ipod, from Netflix, or from turning on satellite radio or tv. I’m afraid the same is true for reading, playing music, or creative writing (except for maybe some of those bloggers out there).

James Gang: Are you “creative” at work?

jedijawa: I am an attorney so I get some chances to be creative in my law practice and my job focuses on words and language so I consider myself to be a logophile. In the end I think that blogging is currently my most creative outlet.

James Gang: An Attorney? Wow! Do you have any opinion on the way the game of Verbotomy is structured? Would you change any of the rules, or the way it is played?

jedijawa: No, I’m pretty happy with the way that you have it laid out. I like the way that you’re doing some contests now so that you have more motivation to push for the big win in a week. I wouldn’t say you have to do that all the time, but the occasional contest is nice.

James Gang:
We will see what we can do about the contests. As you know we are doing the Verbotomy Cup this week, and next week we are doing a themed week around the novels and stories of Cory Doctorow. It should be fun, especially for you, as an Attorney, because Cory has some very strong opinions about copyright/copyleft and intellectual property, so we should come up with some great Verbotomy challenges… And speaking of definitions, do you have any rattling around inside your head? Would you like to share them with us?

jedijawa: I would like it a lot … I just have forgotten the couple that I thought of earlier this week. How about:

“The act of circling a parking lot looking for the closest possible space to your destination.”


“The tendency for people to believe they are above average in some activity when it is a statistical impossibility (because we can’t all be above average).”

James Gang: Those are great. We will add them to our list and I will email you when we post them. So once again, congratulations on your win! By the way, Dan Pink is in Japan for 3 months, so it could be a few more weeks before he sends you an autographed copy of his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

The prize was a neat incentive for this week and I see that you’re doing it again. So, thanks again. I’m still surprised that I beat that Stevenson fellow. I was a bit more inspired this week and maybe that was why … or I just got lucky! 🙂