Win vouchers to spend at any Tesco store

Competition No 3894

Set by Josh Ekroy, 8 August

You were asked to devise new uses of literary words, as Murray Gellman did with "quark"- origin Finnegans Wake.

Report by Ms de Meaner

A lot of rath and quidditch was felt by me, but I did a bit of orc and picked the winners, who each get £20, with D A Prince also getting the Tesco vouchers.

Granfalloon, noun. [Invented word, from Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle.] The measure of the emptiness of an object or substance. Massive things - eg, the sun, stars, quasars - are barren inside. The universe, though old and large, is mostly empty, because it is expanding at a greater rate than it can be filled. Universal matter tends to be distributed in clumps, with densely filled spaces in between. Within these spaces we experience large degrees of absence. There are approximately 500,000,000,000,000+ stars in the Milky Way, home of our solar system, all filled with granfalloon (1gf = 0). The concept of granfalloonery was discovered in 1963 by the Chinese physicist O Ven Tung. While working on the general theory of reality, he drew a blank. [Note: A classified US State Department memorandum referred to Iraq's "WMDs" as "one helluva granfalloon".]

John O'Byrne

Jabberwock, noun. [Origin uncertain, perh. to jabber = talk, wock (wok) = high-temperature cooking utensil.] A unit of measurement of hot air, utilised in heating buildings, its heat deriving from the energy released during prolonged adversarial argument in an enclosed space. Originally tested in parliament (both Houses), the hot air generated sufficient jabberwocks for ambient/water heating and street lighting throughout Westminster, and dumped a surplus on to the national grid sufficient to

power the average small town (eg, Hinckley).

The debate on decommissioning of nuclear power stations generated jabberwocks equivalent to the output of Sizewell B, offering a viable alternative to windfarms, and proved hot-air heating to be a reliable, sustainable source of energy (provided MPs and Lords maintain output of approx 200 jabberwocks per hour (jph). [On the Flatus Scale, 5 jabberwocks = 1 Kinnock, and 10 jabberwocks = 1 Falconer.]

D A Prince

Amblongus, noun [Nonsense word, assoc. with Lear's Amblongus Pie.] A minute part of the temporal lobe recently found to be responsible for bursts of infelicitous expressive language. This brain area will, when damaged, or when stimulated with a Hickson probe, cause the patient to shout embarrassing comments of a personal nature. Prof. Hubert Marmory [Hinton Waldrist Neurological Institute] has probed this patch of cortex during MRI scanning. Asked to identify photographs of party leaders while his left temporal amblongus was being massaged, Subject X replied to the first: Five times a night and you're still a warmongering wanker; to the second: Piss off! Your time is up, you four-eyed Transylvanian bloodsucking people-eater. As yet Marmory's research team has not come up with any money-spinning applications.

Anne Du Croz

No 3897 Set by George Cowley

"I think we are all secretly politically polygamous" (Julia Hobsbawm in the NS). Let's hear from a PP activist.

Max 150 words by 8 September. E-mail:

This article first appeared in the 29 August 2005 issue of the New Statesman, President Hillary: can she do it?