Slate readers name the Blagojevich scandal.

Who's winning, who's losing, and why.
Dec. 16 2008 12:06 PM

Blagogate? Chiblago? Hairnet?

Slate readers name the Blagojevich scandal.

Last week, we solicited nominations for a Rod Blagojevich scandal-naming contest. The results are in, and suggestions fall into a few distinct categories:

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  • The ever-popular "-gate" suffix. Readers suggested "Blagogate," "Blagojegate," and, for those who suspect we don't know the full extent of the bribery, "Blo-gate." "BidderGate" is smart but risks confusion with the "guns and religion" fuss. Sadly, these and all other "-gates" were automatically eliminated. Per order of the National Political Scandal Nomenclature Task Force, the suffix has been retired.
  • Random word merging. "Chicagovich" is a little clunky. "Illiseat" is clever, but maybe too much so. "Chiblago" is oddly inspired but seems better suited to the Broadway musical about the scandal than the scandal itself.
  • Curse words. "Bleepgate" was a popular one and almost caused a reconsideration of the rule against -gates. Variations include "Motherbleepergate" and "(expletive deleted)gate"—a mouthful that would give us typists carpal tunnel.

Finalists:

Honorable mentions: "Blagerloo" captures the dramatic finality of it all. "Blaghorea" doubles as a commentary on the commentary. "Blago-smear" goes out to all the Blagojevich sympathizers in the house. And "Hairnet" immortalizes the only thing people will remember about the governor a decade from now: his pompadour.

Second runner-up: "Pay-Rod." Good merge of form and function. Doesn't require prior knowledge other than a passing familiarity with the New York Yankees.

First runner-up:"Coiffuror." A tribute to the man who has nothing to hide except, as Jon Stewart noted, "whatever is written on his forehead." (Context warning: Also sounds like a Frenchman's response to an inaudible verbal request from Hitler.)

And the winner is … "Blagola." Payola is synonymous with pay-to-play radio deals. Blagojevich is synonymous with pay-to-play Senate seat deals. Spread the word! (Submitted by William C. Spruiell)

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Christopher Beam is a writer living in Beijing.

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