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Neologism Prize to One Who Doesn't Wander

by Bob Levey

Wandering was an unlikely theme around which to build a winner, since Lindsey Croft has done precious little of that. She was born and bred in Alexandria and still lives and works there.

But a little dab of the wandering theme, spiced with a big gob of imagination, put the neologism crown firmly on her head.

Like about 3,000 fellow make-up-a-word enthusiasts, Lindsey took a crack at the September installment of our monthly challenge. It was:

A child asks one of his parents a question. The answer he gets is a resounding no. But rather than accept the verdict, the child immediately finds the other parent and asks the same question. This try-your-luck-again maneuver is called...

Lindsey's winning coinage:


That's a delicious fusion of "parent" and "peregrination," or the tendency to wander. As they say in the cigar business, it's a perfecto.

Our champion has sold real estate in Alexandria for many years. She has a son, Evan, 9. She has also worked as a baker and as the owner of a fence company. And she is a rapt fan of reading and crossword puzzles. Because of both pastimes, "my mind just works that way" when she sees contests like this one, she said.

Lindsey had non-peregrinating tastes when it came to restaurants, too. For her victory dinner, she chose RT's, a seafood place just down the block from where Lindsey played as a child. She promises to enter this contest again, and win again. If her maiden venture is any indication, she' ll be back, early and often.

Almosts and Nearlies for September were:

Cross Addressing: Edward C. Nykwest of Reston.

Noyo-ing: Sandra L. Applegate.

Try-angulation: Emily Carton and Ketch Ryan.

Parendrun: Jim Eppard of Germantown.

Cirkinventing: Erica Seiler.

Brategy: Carole Lyons of Arlington.

C'Montra: Paul Kocak of Syracuse, N.Y.

Biasklon: Jean Stewart of Northwest Washington.

Popportunism: Former champ Cathy Smith Caviness of Clifton and Bruce W. Shaw of Severn.

Pa-and-Masochism: Zora Margolis.

Trial-and-Heirror: Nancy Ferris of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Heir-oh!-Dynamics: Lucille G. Maloney of McLean.

Parent-pong: Ed Boswell of Long Beach, Calif.

Du-please-ity: Mary E. Hornsby of Normandy Park, Wash.

In Pogo Parentis: Thom Watson.

Two-wheedler: Karen Kenworthy.

Pop-Luck: Former champ Jim Munnis of Downingtown, Pa.

Rewhine: Alan Francis of Silver Spring.

Multiasking: Kate Schwarz of Fairfax.

And Momorpoptimism: Rick Ruggles of Glover Park first, then 11 others.

Excellent work, all. Let's see if it carries over to the October challenge, which was suggested by Juanda Mixon of Bowie.

Two cartoons ran in The Post on the same day in August. Each was drawn by a different artist. Yet the themes and content were nearly identical. This comics coincidence is called... (Click to see winning entries)

There's nothing comic about first prize. It's a free lunch, at a restaurant of the winner's choice, in Washington or sensibly close by.

Contest rules: You may enter as often as you like, on one piece of paper or several. Joint entries are welcome. So are entries submitted by fax (202-334-5150) or e-mail ( Entries must bear day and evening phone numbers, including area code(s). All entries become my property. Entries will not be accepted by phone or returned. In case of duplicate winning entries, I'll choose the one I receive first.

Please mail entries to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071. Entries for October must be received by Oct. 31.

© 2002 Bob Levey (
This article is reproduced with the kind permission of the author.

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