Mensa Speak

Mid-America Mensa (MAM) members try to keep current with all things Mensa-related. At a minimum, this activity will include being able to speak the Mensa lingo. Following below is a list of various Mensa words & acronyms culled from a variety of sources – all seem to add value to what being a MAM member means.


Annual Business Meeting of the organization; normally held at an Annual Gathering.


Area Coordinators


The Annual Gathering of American Mensa, Ltd. It is usually held around the July 4th weekend and the location (host) varies, changing from year to year. Considered the best party you’ll ever attend, it gives us an opportunity to hear noted speakers as well as participate in educational workshops; entertainment like field trips, food, & fun; games; tournaments; and other various social activities.


American Mensa Committee, or the governing body of American Mensa, Ltd. It consists of the following: Chair, first and second Vice-Chairs, two Past Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, a Vice-Chair (RVC) from each of the ten U.S. Regions, and several appointed officers.


American Mensa, Ltd. The official name of our national organization in the United States of America.


Actions Still In Effect. After each AMC meeting, the list of ASIE is maintained and updated by adding newly adopted actions and removing the ones that have been superseded or rendered obsolete. Overall, this list reflects the various actions taken by the AMC.

The Mensa Bulletin

National Mensa’s monthly (ten times per year, anyway) magazine publication. A subscription to this publication is included with your membership dues to American Mensa.


Our monthly listing of events which are open to all Mensa members and their invited guests.


A gathering for serious thought and not just for fun. This type of event was created in response to complaints that gatherings have too little intellectual content.


A loosely used term for any Mensa volunteer who does anything from acting as a telephone contact to organizing and/or hosting a function.


CultureQuest® is an annual event (usually held in the spring) in which teams across the country compete by answering trivia questions which test their cultural knowledge. Entry fees provide scholarship funding.

Densa (or Densan)

A derogatory term for a Mensa member acting like a fool or jerk.


The person who is responsible for compiling the local group’s newsletter – our newsletter is the Mension. It is a requirement that the newsletter contains the calendar of events. In some local groups, there may be a web editor as well who has similar responsibilities online.


Executive Committee. A committee within a committee, this term often refers to the ‘local’ officers – both elected and appointed local officers — who are responsible for the business of running the local group. In some cases, as in the MAM Bylaws, this term is not used.


Something of a Mensa tradition, this is a shaggy-dog type joke with a pun as the punch line.


Fold, Spindle, & Mutilate. A throwback to the days of punch cards for standardized tests when students were given strict instructions to not fold, spindle, or mutilate them. More recently, some local groups hold a monthly FSM session to fold, staple, and affix mailing labels to their newsletters. Currently, MAM does not engage in FSM as a group activity.


Gifted child/children


Gifted Children Coordinator


Group of the Year Award. This is a program designed to recognize and reward local groups for their membership-related activities. The National Office calculates the point standing of each group.


International Board of Directors


International Journal – replaced by the Mensa World Journal in 2013.

Isolated M

A newsletter for Mensa members who cannot participate in local group activities.


Leadership Development Workshop


Local Secretary, President, or Presiding Officer of a local group in Mensa. This title is a carryover from British Mensa and its origins. Basically, the LocSec is our chief executive officer who acts as the main liaison between our local group and other local groups and to AML.

Local Group

A geographical location consisting of an area, a certain number of Mensa members, and having a specific local tradition and flavor. There are more than 130 local groups and Mensa members are assigned to a local group based on their location. However, a member can join a different local group by preference; so while you may reside in Mid-America Mensa, you may belong to Missouri Ozarks Mensa by your own personal preference.

Member at Large

A member of the governing board of a local Mensa group who has a vote on matters brought before the Board, and who does other duties as assigned or directed.


Mensa, or members of Mensa, who the founders envisioned as a round-table society in which all were equal since the only criterion for membership is to be in the top two percent of whatever standard intelligence test you had taken. They also thought a lot of people would be reminded of the Latin tag mens sana in corpore sano, or ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’. M is the shape of the table (for Mensa) upon which is resting a globe (for the world) comprising our logo.


The official monthly newsletter of Mid-America Mensa.


Mensa Education & Research Foundation and now called the Mensa Foundation. This is the tax-exempt arm of American Mensa which supports education, awards scholarship money and grants, and conducts research in areas related to intelligence. The Mensa Research Journal is available by subscription.

Mind Games

A national-level event where Mensa members gather for a weekend to play games submitted by manufacturers seeking the Mensa Select® seal.


Mensa Research Journal


The nationwide-level headquarters of American Mensa located in Texas.


Mension, for example. Each local group receives a stipend from National to publish a monthly calendar of events and other reports of Mensa-related business.


Nominating Committee. According to the local level Bylaws of MAM, for example, the NomCom is the committee charged with nominating the next slate of candidates for the Board.


National Testing Day


A trouble-shooter who listens to gripes, settles complaints, and generally resolves disputes within Mensa and among its members.


Because the owl has been the symbol of wisdom since the Greek goddess Athena in antiquity, it has likewise become the unofficial mascot of Mensa. As you become more and more active in Mensa you will see things like owls depicted and used for symbolizing the wisdom of learning & practical arts.

Program Chair

The M who is responsible for arranging, setting up, and planning programs (that is, activities or events) for a group. This is a position which is appointed by the governing board. However, all members are welcome to give suggestions of things to do and the program chair will coordinate them all.


An M who is qualified and responsible for administering the Mensa admission test.

Region 7 – Heartland Mensa

MAM’s Region within American Mensa. Mid-America Mensa covers a large area including much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri.


An exclamation in jest usually interjected when an M does or says something out of ordinary keeping with their high intelligence.


Regional Gathering – refers to a gathering hosted by a local group but similar in format to a much larger gathering yet having a more local, regional focus.


MAM’s annual directory of members who have paid their dues – also providing related contact information.


Regional Vice Chairperson. An elected regional officer and member of the AMC. The RVC can be a great resource for the local groups and as someone who works to foster growth within and to develop the entire region.


Special Interest Group. This functional-specific group acts as means of bringing Mensa members together who have a common interest in wide-ranging and usually interesting subject areas.


Services for Information, Guidance, and Hospitality to Travellers. This M coordinator is responsible for providing information on the local area for any Mensa member who visits from out of town, out of state, or out of the country.