Almost all of "The Meaning of Liff" and "The Deeper Meaning of Liff" by 
Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, as entered by Jarrod Lombardo.  If you don't 
know, all of the words are place names and all of the meanings are 
previously wordless meanings (aka LIFF).
AALST (ay-AY-lst n.)
One who changes his name to be nearer the front.
AASLEAGH (ASH-li-ukh n.)
A liqueur made only for drinking at the end of a revoltingly long bottle
party when all the drinkable drink has been drunk.
ABALEMMA (AB-a-LEM-mah n.)
The agonizing situation in which there is only one possible decision but 
you still can't make it.
ABERBEEG (ab-a-BEEG vb.)
Of amateur actors, to adopt a Mexican accent when called upon to play any
variety of foreigner (except Pakistanis - from whom a Welsh accent is
considered sufficient).
To strongly desire to swing from the pole on the rear footplate of a bus.
ABERT (a-BERT vb.)
To change a baby's name at the last possible moment.
ABERYSTWYTH (ab-a-RIST-with n.)
A nostalgic yearning which is in itself more pleasant than the thing being
yearned for.
ABILENE (AB-a-lene adj.)
Descriptive of the pleasing coolness on the reverse side of the pillow.
ABINGER (AB-bin-jer n.)
One who washes up everything except the frying pan, the cheese grater and
the saucepan in which the chocolate sauce has been made.
ABLIGO (AB-lig-goh n.)
One who prides himself on not even knowing what day of the week it is.
To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of
his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.
ABRUZZO (a-BRUT-soh n.)
The worn patch of ground under a swing.
ABSECON (AB-seek-in n.)
An annual conference held at the Dragonara Hotel, Leeds, for people who 
haven't got any other conferences to go to.
ABWONG (AB-wong vb.)
To bounce cheerfully on a bed.
The odd twinges you get in parts of your body when you scratch other parts.
ACLE (AY-kul n.)
The rouge pin which shirt-makers conceal in a hidden fold of a new shirt. 
Its function is to stab you when you don the garment.
ADLESTROP (AY-dul-strop n.)
That part of a suitcase which is designed to get snarled up on conveyor
belts at airports. Some of the more modern adlestrop designs have a special
'quick release' feature which enables the case to flip open at this point
and fling your underclothes into the conveyor belt's gearing mechanism.
ADRIGOLE (AD-ri-gohl n.)
The centerpiece of a merry-go-round on which the man with the tickets stands
unnervingly still.
AFFCOT (AF-kot n.)
The sort of fart you hope people will talk after.
AFFPUDDLE (AF-pud-dul n.)
A puddle which is hidden under a pivoted paving stone. You only know it's
there when you step on the paving stone and the puddle shoots up your leg.
AGGLETHORPE (AG-gle-thorp n.)
A dispute between two pooves in a boutique.
AHENNY (ah-HEN-nee adj.)
The way people stand when examining other people's bookshelves.
AIGBURTH (AYG-berth n.)
Any piece of readily identifiable anatomy found among cooked meat.
One who continually bemoans the loss of the word 'gay' to the English
language, even though they had never used the word in any context at all
until they started complaining that they couldn't use it anymore.
One who asks you a question with the apparent motive of wanting to hear your
answer, but who cuts short your opening sentence by leaning forward and
saying "And I'll tell you why I ask..." and then talking solidly for the
next hour.
The length of time it takes to get served in a camera shop. Hence, also, how
long we will have to wait for the abolition of income tax or the Second
(Archaic) Ancient Scottish curse placed from afar on the stretch of land 
now occupied by Heathrow Airport.
The single bristle that sticks out sideways on a cheap paintbrush.
ALBACETE (AL-ba-seet n.)
A single surprisingly long hair growing in the middle of nowhere.
A shapeless squiggle which is utterly unlike your normal signature, but
which is, nevertheless, all you are able to produce when asked formally to
identify yourself. Muslims, whose religion forbids the making of graven
images, use albuquerques to decorate their towels, menu cards and pajamas.
ALCOY (AL-koy adj.)
Wanting to be bullied into having another drink.
ALDCLUNE (AWLD-kloon n.)
One who collects ten-year-old telephone directories.
ALLTAMI (al-TAR-mee n.)
The ancient art of being able to balance the hot and cold shower taps.
The bizarre assortment of objects collected by a sleepwalker.
AMBLESIDE (AM-bul-side n.)
A talk given about the Facts of Life by a father to his son whilst walking
in the garden on a Sunday afternoon.
AMERSHAM (AM-a-sham n.)
The sneeze which tickles but never comes. (Thought to derive from London's 
Metropolitan Line tube station of the same name where the rails always
rattle but the train never arrives.)
A British Rail sandwich which has been kept soft by being regularly washed
and resealed in plastic wrap.

*Good luck
ARAGLIN (n. archaic)
A medieval practical joke played by young squires on a knight aspirant the
afternoon he is due to start his vigil. As the knight arrives at the castle
the squires attempt to raise the drawbridge very suddenly as the knight and
his charger step on to it.
A remote acquaintance passed off as 'a very good friend of mine' by someone
trying to impress people.
Excuse made by rural Welsh hairdresser for completely massacring your hair.
Excuse made by rural Welsh hairdresser for deep wounds inflicted on your
scalp in an attempt to rectify whatever it was that induced the ardscalpsie
Adjective which describes the behavior of Sellotape when you are tired.
A clever architectural construction designed to give the illusion from the
top deck of a bus that it is far too big for the road.
AYNHO (vb.)
Of waiters, never to have a pen.
Something which justifies having a really good cry.
The sharp prong on the top of a tree stump where the tree has snapped off
before being completely sawed through.
One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed.
Pertaining to, or descriptive of, that kind of facial expression which is
impossible to achieve except when having a passport photograph taken.
A lusty and raucous old ballad sung after a particularly spectacular araglin
(q.v.) has been pulled off.
A humorous device such as a china horse or smalled naked porcelain infant
which jocular hosts use of piss water into your Scotch with.
That kind of large fierce ugly woman who owns a small fierce ugly dog.
A fitted elasticated bottom sheet which turns your mattress banana-shaped.
The unsavory parts of a moat which a knight has to pour out of his armor
after being the victim of an araglin (q.v.). In medieval Flanders, soup made
from bealings was a very slightly sought-after delicacy.
The optimum vantage point from which one to view people undressing in the
bedroom across the street.
The small bone buttons placed in bacon sandwiches by unemployed guerrilla
A lurching sensation in the pit of the stomach experienced at breakfast in a
hotel, occasioned by the realization that it is about now that the chamber-
maid will have discovered the embarrassing stain on your bottom sheet.
A knob of someone else's chewing gum which you unexpectedly find your hand
resting on under a desk top, under the passenger seat of your car or on
somebody's thigh under their skirt.
The sort of man who becomes a returning officer.
The irrevocable and sturdy fart released in the presence of royalty, which
sounds quite like a small motorbike passing by (but not enough to be
confused with one).
The massive three-course midmorning blow-out enjoyed by a dieter who has
already done his or her slimming duty by having a teaspoonful of cottage
cheese for breakfast.
1. The shape of a gourmet's lips. 2. The droplet of saliva which hangs from
A pimple so hideous and enormous that you have to cover it with sticking
plaster and pretend you've cut yourself shaving.
An opening gambit before a game of chess whereby the missing pieces are
replaced by small ornaments from the mantelpiece.
Scientific measure of luminosity : 1 glimmer = 100,000 bleans. Usherettes'
torches are designed to produce between 2.5 and 4 bleans, enabling them to
assist you in falling downstairs, treading on people or putting your hand
into a Neapolitan tub when reaching for change.
A look someone gives you by which you become aware that they're much too
drunk to have understood anything you've said to them in the last twenty
The little slivers of bamboo picked off a cane chair by a nervous guest
which litter the carpet beneath and tell the chair's owner that the whole
piece of furniture is about to uncoil terribly and slowly until it resembles
a giant pencil sharpening.
The irrational and inevitable discrepancy between the amount pooled and the
amount needed when a large group of people try to pay a bill together after
a meal.
One of those brown plastic trays with bumps on, placed upside down in boxes
of chocolates to make you think you're-getting two layers.
Of plumbing in old hotels, to make loud and unexplained noises in the night,
particularly at about five o'clock in the morning.
The small scatterings of foreign coins and half-p's which inhabit dressing
tables. Since they are never used and never thrown away boolteens account
for a significant drain on the world's money supply.
1. The man in the pub who slaps people on the back as if they were old
friends, when in fact he has no friends, largely on account of this habit.
2. Any story told by Robert Morley on chat shows.
A huge pyramid of tin cans placed just inside the entrance to a supermarket.
One who spends all day loafing about near pedestrian crossing looking as if
he's about to cross.
The principle by which British roads are signposted.
The prominent stain on a man's trouser crotch seen on his return from the
lavatory. A botley proper is caused by an accident with the push taps, and
should not be confused with any stain caused by insufficient waggling of the
Huge benign tumors which archdeacons and old chemistry teachers affect to
wear on the sides of their noses.
A small, long-handled steel trowel used by surgeons to remove the contents
of a patient's nostrils prior to a sinus operation.
A school teacher's old hairy jacket, now severely discolored by chalk dust,
ink, egg and the precipitations of unedifying chemical reactions.
One who is skilled in the art of naming loaves.
That part of the toenail which is designed to snag on nylon sheets.
A perfectly reasonable explanation (Such as the one offered by a person with
a gurgling cough which has nothing to do with the fact that they smoke fifty
cigarettes a day.)
A pair of trousers with a career behind them. Broats are most commonly seen
on elderly retired army officers. Originally the brats were part of their
best suit back in the thirties; then in the fifties they were demoted and
used for gardening. Recently pensions not being what they were, the broats
have been called out of retirement and reinstated as part of the best suit
A bromton is that which is said to have been committed when you are
convinced you are about to blow off with a resounding trumpeting noise in a
public place and all that actually slips out is a tiny 'pfpt'.
Any urban environment containing a small amount of dog turd and about
forty-five tons of bent steel pylon or a lump of concrete with holes
claiming to be sculpture. 'Oh, come my dear, and come with me. And wander
'neath the bromsgrove tree' - Betjeman.
One who has been working at that same desk in the same office for fifteen
years and has very much his own ideas about why he is continually passed
over for promotion.
The fake antique plastic seal on a pretentious whiskey bottle.
The single unappetizing bun left in a baker's shop after four p.m.
A nipple clearly defined through flimsy or wet material.
A polite joke reserved for use in the presence of vicars.
a virulent red-colored pus which generally accompanies clonmult (q.v.) and
sandberge (q.v.)
The sound made by a li of people all trying to breathe politely through
their noses.
The scabs on knees and elbows formed by a compulsion to make love on cheap
Habitat floor-matting.
That peculiarly tuneless humming and whistling adopted by people who are
extremely angry.
A seventeenth-century crime by which excrement is thrown into the street
from a ground-floor window.
Condition to which yates (q.v.) will suddenly pass without any apparent
interviewing period, after the spirit of the throckmorton (q.v.) has finally
been summoned by incessant throcking (q.v.)
The bluebottle one is too tired to get up and start, but not tired enough to
sleep through.
A bunch of keys found in a drawer whose purpose has long been forgotten, and
which can therefore now be used only for dropping down people's backs as a
cure for nose-bleeds.
The pleasurable cool sloosh of puddle water over the toes of your gumboots.
The high-pitched and insistent cry of the young female human urging one of
its peer group to do something dangerous on a cliff-edge or piece of toxic
waste ground.
A large piece of dried dung found in mountainous terrain above the cowline
which leads the experienced tracker to believe that hikers have recently
CAMER (n.)
A mis-tossed caber.
In any box of After Eight Mints, there is always a large number of empty
envelopes and no more that four or five actual mints. The cannock chase is
the process by which, no matter which part of the box often, you will always
extract most of the empty sachets before pinning down an actual mint, or
'cannock'. The cannock chase also occurs with people who put their dead
matches back in the matchbox, and then embarrass themselves at parties
trying to light cigarettes with tree quarters of an inch of charcoal. The
term is also used to describe futile attempts to pursue unscrupulous
advertising agencies who nick your ideas to sell chocolates with.
CHENIES (pl.n.)
The last few sprigs or tassels of last Christmas's decoration you notice on
the ceiling while lying on the sofa on an August afternoon.
The foul-smelling wind which precedes an underground railway train.
The disgust and embarrassment (or 'ongar') felt by an observer in the
presence of a person festooned with kirbies (q.v.) when they don't know them
well enough to tell them to wipe them off, invariably this 'ongar' is
accompanied by an involuntary staccato twitching of the leg (or 'chipping')
CLABBY (adj.)
A 'clabby' conversation is one stuck up by a commissioner or cleaning lady
in order to avoid any further actual work. The opening gambit is usually
designed to provoke the maximum confusion, and therefore the longest
possible clabby conversation. It is vitally important to learn the correct,
or 'clixby' (q.v.), responses to a clabby gambit, and not to get trapped by
a 'ditherington' (q.v.). For instance, if confronted with a clabby gambit
such as 'Oh, Mr Smith, I didn't know you'd had your leg off', the
ditherington response is 'I haven't....' whereas the clixby is 'good.'
Technical BBC term for a page of dialogue from Blake's Seven.
The sound made by knocking over an elephant's-foot umbrella stand full of
walking sticks. Hence name for a particular kind of disco drum riff.
CLATHY (adj.)
Nervously indecisive about how safely to dispose of a dud light-bulb.
CLENCHWARTON (n. archaic)
One who assists an exorcist by squeezing whichever part of the possessed the
exorcist deems useful.
CLIXBY (adj.)
Politely rude. Bliskly vague. Firmly uninformative.
A yellow ooze usually found near secretions of buldoo (q.v.) and sadberge
CLOVIS (q.v.)
One who actually looks forward to putting up the Christmas decorations in
the office.
CLUN (n.)
A leg which has gone to sleep and has to be hauled around after you.
CLUNES (pl.n.)
People who just won't go.
One who is employed to stand about all day browsing through the magazine
racks in the newsagent.
CONG (n.)
Strange-shaped metal utensil found at the back of the saucepan cupboard. Many
authorities believe that congs provide conclusive proof of the existence of
a now extinct form of yellow vegetable which the Victorians used to boil
CORFE (n.)
An object which is almost totally indistinguishable from a newspaper, the
one crucial difference being tat it belongs to somebody else and is
unaccountably much more interesting that your own - which may otherwise
appear to be in all respects identical. Though it is a rule of life that a
train or other public place may contain any number of corfes but only one
newspaper, it is quite possible to transform your own perfectly ordinary
newspaper into a corfe by the simple expedient of letting somebody else read
CORFU (n.)
The dullest person you met during the course of your holiday. Also the only
one who failed to understand that the exchanging of addresses at the end of
a holiday is merely a social ritual and is absolutely not an invitation to
phone you up and turn up unannounced on your doorstep three months later.
The moment at which two people approaching from opposite ends of a long
passageway, recognize each other and immediately pretend they haven't. This
is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognizing each
other the whole length of the corridor.
To avert the horrors of corrievorrie (q.v.) corriecravie is usually
employed. This is the cowardly but highly skilled process by which both
protagonists continue to approach while keeping up the pretense that they
haven't noticed each other - by staring furiously at their feet, grimacing
into a notebook, or studying the walls closely as if in a mood of deep
The crucial moment of false recognition in a long passageway encounter.
Though both people are perfectly well aware that the other is approaching,
they must eventually pretend sudden recognition. They now look up with a
glassy smile, as if having spotted each other for the first time, (and are
particularly delighted to have done so) shouting out 'Haaaaaallllloooo!' as
if to say 'Good grief!! You!! Here!! Of all people! Will I never. Coo. Stap
me vitals, etc.'
The dreadful sinking sensation in a long passageway encounter when both
protagonists immediately realize they have plumped for the corriedoo (q.v.)
much too early as they are still a good thirty yards apart. They were
embarrassed by the pretense of corriecravie (q.v.) and decided to make use of
the corriedoo because they felt silly. This was a mistake as corrievorrie
(q.v.) will make them seem far sillier.
Corridor etiquette demands that one a corriedoo (q.v.) has been declared,
corrievorrie must be employed. Both protagonists must now embellish their
approach with an embarrassing combination of waving, grinning, making idiot
faces, doing pirate impressions, and waggling the head from side to side
while holding the other person's eyes as the smile drips off their face,
until with great relief, they pass each other.
Word describing the kind of person who can make a complete mess of a simple
job like walking down a corridor.
A very short peremptory service held in monasteries prior to teatime to
offer thanks for the benediction of digestive biscuits.
A piece of wood used to stir paint and thereafter stored uselessly in a shed
in perpetuity.
CRAIL (n. mineral)
Crail is a common kind of rock or gravel found widely across the British
Isles. Each individual stone (due to an as yet undiscovered gravitational
property) is charged with 'negative buoyancy'. This means that no matter how
much crail you remove from the garden, more of it will rise to the surface.
Crail is much employed by the Royal Navy for making the paperweights and
ashtrays used inside submarines.
A mood of irrational irritation with everyone and everything.
The brittle sludge which clings to the top of ketchup bottles and plastic
tomatoes in nasty cafes.
A large wooden or rubber cub which poachers use to dispatch cats or other
game which they can only sell to Indian restaurants. For particularly small
cats the price obtainable is not worth the cost of expending ammunition.
Dalrymples are the things you pay extra for on pieces of hand-made
craft-work - the rough edges, the paint smudges and the holes in the
A certain facial expression which actors are required to demonstrate their
mastery of before they are allowed to play Macbeth.
Measure = 0.0000176 mg. Defined as that amount of margarine capable of
covering one hundred slices of bread to the depth of one molecule. This is
the legal maximum allowed in sandwich bars in Greater London.
DEAL (n.)
The gummy substance found between damp toes.
What street-wise kids do at Christmas. They hide on the rooftops waiting for
Santa Claus so that if he arrives and goes down the chimney, they can rip
stuff off from his sleigh.
DES MOINES (pl.n.)
The two little lines which come down from your nose.
That part of a hymn (usually a few notes at the end of a verse) where the
tune goes so high or low that you suddenly have to change octaves to
accommodate it.
(Of the hands or feet.) Prune-like after an overlong bath.
The tiny oddly-shaped bit of card which a ticket inspector cuts out of a
ticket with his clipper for no apparent reason. It is a little-known fact
that the confetti at Princess Margaret's wedding was made up of thousands of
didcots collected by inspectors on the Royal Train. 
DIDLING (participle vb.)
The process of trying to work out who did it when reading a whodunit, and
trying to keep your options open so that when you find out you can allow
yourself to think that you knew perfectly well who it was all along.
The kind of bath plug which for some unaccountable reason is actually
designed to sit on top of the hole rather than fit into it.
DIBBLE (vb.)
To try to remove a sticky something from one hand with the other, thus
causing it to get stuck to the other hand and eventually to anything else
you try to remove it with.
Sudden access to panic experienced by one who realizes that he is being
drawn inexorably into a clabby (q.v.) conversion, i.e. one he has no hope of
enjoying, benefiting from or understanding.
Any music you hear on the radio to which you have to listen very carefully
to determine whether it is an advertising jingle or a bona fide record.
DOBWALLS (pl.n.)
The now hard-boiled bits of nastiness which have to be prised off crockery
by hand after it has been through a dishwasher.
DOBWALLS (pl.n.)
The now hard-boiled bits of nastiness which have to be prised off crockery
by hand after it has been through a dishwasher.
Facetious behavior adopted by an accused man in the mistaken belief that
this will endear him to the judge.
Of dog-owners, to adopt the absurd pretense that the animal shitting in the
gutter is nothing to do with them.
The clump, or cluster, of bored, quietly enraged, mildly embarrassed men
waiting for their wives to come out of a changing room in a dress shop.
A throaty cough by someone else so timed as to obscure the crucial part of
the rather amusing remark you've just made.
Technical term for one of the lame excuses written in very small print on
the side of packets of food or washing powder to explain why there's hardly
anything inside. Examples include 'Contents may have settled in transit' and
'To keep each biscuit fresh they have been individually wrapped in silver
paper and cellophane and separated with corrugated lining, a cardboard flap,
and heavy industrial tires'.
An infuriating person who always manages to look much more dashing that
anyone else by turning up unshaven and hungover at a formal party.
Name for a shop which is supposed to be witty but is in fact wearisome, e.g.
'The Frock Exchange', 'Hair Apparent', etc.
A street dance. The two partners approach from opposite directions and try
politely to get out of each other's way. They step to the left, step to the
right, apologize, step to the left again, apologies again, bump into each
other and repeat as often as unnecessary.
A look given by a superior person to someone who has arrived wearing the
wrong sort of shoes.
DUDOO (n.)
The most deformed potato in any given collection of potatoes.
The person in front of you in the supermarket queue who has just unloaded a
bulging trolley on to the conveyor belt and is now in the process of trying
to work out which pocket they left their check book in, and indeed which
pair of trousers.
Sudden realization, as you lie in bed waiting for the alarm to go off, that
it should have gone off an hour ago.
DULUTH (adj.)
The smell of a taxi out of which people have just got.
DUNBAR (n.) 
A highly specialized fiscal term used solely by turnstile operatives at 
Regent's Part zoo. It refers to the variable amount of increase in the 
variable gate takings on a Sunday afternoon, caused by persons going to 
the zoo because they are in love and believe that the feeling of romance 
will be somehow enhanced by the smell of panther sweat and rank 
incontinence in the reptile house.
The moment of realization that the train you have just patiently watched
pulling out of the station was the one you were meant to be on.
The name of Charles Bronson's retirement cottage.
The uneasy feeling that the plastic handles of the overloaded supermarket
carrier bag you are carrying are getting steadily longer.
DUNTISH (adj.)
Mentally incapacitated by severe hangover.
The same as west wittering (q.v.) only it's you they've trying to get away
The spare seat-cushion carried by a London bus, which is placed against the
rear bumper when the driver wishes to indicate that the bus has broken down.
No one knows how this charming old custom originated or how long it will
ELY (n.)
The first, tiniest inkling you get that something, somewhere, has gone
terribly wrong.
Measure of time and noiselessness defined as the moment between the doors of
a lift closing and it beginning to move.
EPPING (participial vb.)
The futile movements of forefingers and eyebrows used when failing to
attract the attention of waiters and barmen.
EPSOM (n.)
An entry in a diary (such as a date or a set of initials) or a name and
address in your address book, which you haven't the faintest idea what it's
doing there.
The precise value of the usefulness of epping (q.v.) it is a little-known
fact than an earlier draft of the final line of the film Gone with the Wind
had Clark Gable saying 'Frankly my dear, i don't give an epworth', the line
being eventually changed on the grounds that it might not be understood in
A brown bubble of cheese containing gaseous matter which grows on welsh
rarebit. It was Sir Alexander Flemming's study of eribolls which led,
indirectly, to his discovery of the fact that he didn't like welsh rarebit
very much.
ESHER (n.)
One of those push tapes installed in public washrooms enabling the user to
wash their trousers without actually getting into the basin. The most
powerful esher of recent years was 'damped down' by Red Adair after an
incredible sixty-eight days' fight in Manchester's Piccadilly Station.
The look given by a group of polite, angry people to a rude, calm
The smile bestowed on you by an air hostess.
All light household and electrical goods contain a number of vital
components plus at least one exeter. If you've just mended a fuse, changed a
bulb or fixed a blender, the exeter is the small, flat or round plastic or
Bakelite piece left over which means you have to undo everything and start
all over again.
Polite word for buggery.
FARDUCKMANTON (n. archaic)
An ancient edict, mysteriously omitted from the Domesday Book, requiring
that the feeding of fowl on village ponds should be carried out equitably.
The feeling you get about four o'clock in the afternoon when you haven't got
enough done.
A long and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to undo someone's bra.
FEAKLE (vb.) 
To make facial expressions similar to those that old gentlemen
make to young girls in the playground.
FINUGE (vb.)
In any division of foodstuffs equally between several people, to give
yourself the extra slice left over.
The safe place you put something and then forget where it was.
One of those irritating handle-less slippery translucent plastic bags you
get in supermarkets which, no matter how you hold them, always contrive to
let something fall out.
An ankle-length gabardine or oilskin tarpaulin worn by deep-sea herring
fishermen in Arbroath and publicans in Glasgow.
To queue-jump very discreetly by working one's way up the line without being
spotted doing so.
FORSINAIN (n. archaic)
The right of the lord of the manor to molest dwarves on their birthdays.
A taxi driver's gesture, a raised hand pointed out of the window which
purports to mean 'thank you' and actually means 'fuck off out of the way'.
The small awkward-shaped piece of cheese which remains after grating a large
regular-shaped piece of cheese and enables you to cut your fingers.
A kind of burglar alarm usage. It is cunningly designed so that it can ring
at full volume in the street without apparently disturbing anyone. Other
types of framlinghams are burglar alarms fitted to business premises in
residential areas, which go off as a matter of regular routine at 5.31 p.m.
on a Friday evening and do not get turned off till 9.20 a.m. on Monday
FRANT (n.)
Measure. The legal minimum distance between two trains on the District and
Circle line of the London Underground. A frant, which must be not less than
122 chains (or 8 leagues) long, is not connected in any way with the
adjective 'frantic' which comes to us by a completely different route (as
indeed do the trains).
The shade of green which is supposed to make you feel comfortable in
hospitals, industrious in schools and uneasy in police stations.
Exaggerated carefree saunter adopted by Norman Wisdom as an immediate
prelude to dropping down an open manhole.
FRING (n.)
The noise made by light bulb which has just shone its last.
Measure. The minimum time it is necessary to spend frowning in deep
concentration at each picture in an art gallery in order that everyone else
doesn't think you've a complete moron.
FROSSES (pl.n.)
The lecherous looks exchanged between sixteen-year-olds at a party given by
someone's parents.
FULKING (participial vb.)
Pretending not to be in when the carol-singers come round.
A form of particularly long sparse sideburns which are part of the mandatory
uniform of British Rail guards.
Of the behavior of a bottom lip trying to spit mouthwash after an injection
at the dentist. Hence, loose, floppy, useless. 'She went suddenly Gallipoli
in his arms' - Noel Coward.
GANGES (n. rare : colonial Indian)
Leg-rash contracted from playing too much polo. (It is a little-known fact
that Prince Charles is troubled by ganges down the inside of his arms.)
Useful specially new-coined word for an illegitimate child (in order to
distinguish it from someone who merely carves you up on the motorway, etc.)
Descriptive of a joke someone tells you which starts well, but which 
becomes so embellished in the telling that you start to weary of it 
after scarcely half an hour.
GIPPING (participial vb.)
The fish-like opening and closing of the jaws seen amongst people who have
recently been to the dentist and are puzzled as to whether their teeth have
been put back the right way up.
The feeling of infinite sadness engendered when walking through a place
filled with happy people fifteen years younger than yourself.
A seaside pebble which was shiny and interesting when wet, and which is now
a lump of rock, which children nevertheless insist on filing their suitcases
with after the holiday.
The state of a barrister's flat greasy hair after wearing a wig all day.
The kind of guilt which you'd completely forgotten about which comes roaring
back on discovering an old letter in a cupboard.
A particular kind of tartan hold-all, made exclusive under license for
British Airways. When waiting to collect your luggage from an airport
conveyor belt, you will notice that on the next conveyor a single, solitary bag
going round and round uncollected. This is a glentaggart, which has been
placed there by the baggage-handling staff to take your mind off the fact
that your own luggage will shortly be landing in Murmansk.
GLENTIES (pl.n.)
Series of small steps by which someone who has made a serious tactical error
in a conversion or argument moves from complete disagreement to wholehearted
A small tartan pouch worn beneath the kilt during the thistle-harvest.
A hat which politicians but to go to Russia in.
One who takes pleasure in informing others about their bowel movements.
A rouge blob of food. Glossops, which are generally streaming hot and highly
adhesive invariably fall off your spoon and on to the surface of your host's
highly polished antique-rosewood dining table. If this has not, or may not
have, been noticed by the company present, swanage (q.v.) may be employed.
The place where food can be stored after having a tooth extracted. Some
Arabs can go without sustenance for up to six weeks on a full glutt lodge,
hence the expression 'the shit of the dessert'.
Someone who stops Jon Cleese on the street and demands that he does a funny
Wonderful rush of relief on discovering that the ely (q.v.) and the wembley
(q.v.) were in fact false alarms.
GOLANT (adj.)
Blank, sly and faintly embarrassed. Pertaining to the expression seen on
the face of someone who has clearly forgotten your name.
GOOLE (n.)
The puddle on the bar into which the barman puts your change.
GOOSECRUIVES (pl. n. archaic)
A pair of wooden trousers worn by poultry-keepers in the Middle Ages.
Something left over from preparing or eating a meal, which you store in the
fridge despite the fact that you know full well you will never ever use it.
A fat book containing four words and six cartoons which cost 6.95.
GREAT WAKERING (participle vb.)
Panic which sets in when you badly need to go to the lavatory and cannot
make up your mind about what book or magazine to take with you.
Someone who continually annoys you by continually apologizing for annoying
A shade of green which cartoon characters dangle over the edge of a cliff.
A small bush from which cartoon characters dangle over the edge of a cliff.
A lump of something gristly and foul-tasting concealed in a mouthful of stew
or pie. Grimsbies are sometimes merely the result of careless cookery, but
more often they are placed there deliberately by Freemasons. Grimsbies can be
purchased in bulk from any respectable Masonic butcher on giving him the
secret Masonic handbag. One is then placed correct masonic method of dealing
with it. If the guest is not a Mason, the host may find it entertaining to
watch how he handles the obnoxious object. It may be (a) manfully swallowed,
invariably bringing tears to the eyes. (b) chewed with resolution for up to
twenty minutes before eventually resorting to method (a) (c) choked on
fatally. The Masonic handshake is easily recognized by another Mason
incidentally, for by it a used grimsby is passed from hand to hand. The
secret Masonic method for dealing with a grimsby is as follows : remove it
carefully with the silver tongs provided, using the left hand. Cross the
room to your host, hopping on one leg, and ram the grimsby firmly up his
nose, shouting, 'Take that, you smug Masonic bastard.'
The state of a lady's clothing after she has been to powder her nose and has
hitched up her tights over her skirt at the back, thus exposing her bottom,
and has walked out without noticing it.
Queasy but unbowed. The kind of feeling one gets when discovering a plastic
compartment in a fridge in which thing are growing.
GWEEK (n.)
A coat hanger recycled as a car aerial.
A sharp instrument placed in the washing-up bowl which makes it easier to cut
Someone who looked a lot more attractive in the disco than they do in your
bed the next morning.
An adhesive fibrous cloth used to hold babies' clothes together. Thousands
of tiny pieces of jam 'hook' on to thousands of tiny-pieces of dribble,
enabling the cloth to become 'sticky'.
The green synthetic AstroTurf on which greengrocers display their
The sound of a single-engined aircraft flying by, heard whilst lying in a
summer field in England, which somehow concentrates the silence and sense of
space and timelessness and leaves one with a profound feeling of something
or other.
HAPPLE (vb.)
To annoy people by finishing their sentences for them and then telling them
what they really meant to say.
To maneuverer a double mattress down a winding staircase.
A particular kind of fly which lives inside double glazing.
The coda to a phone conversion, consisting of about eight exchanges, by
which people try gracefully to get off the line.
A mechanical device for cleaning combs invented during the industrial
revolution at the same time as Arkwright's Spinning Jenny, but which didn't
catch on in the same way.
The pocket down the back of an armchair used for storing two-shilling bits
and pieces of Lego.
HASTINGS (pl.n.)
Things said on the spur of the moment to explain to someone who comes into a
room unexpectedly precisely what it is you are doing.
The tiny snippets of beard which coat the inside of a washbasin after
shaving in it.
One who loudly informs other diners in a restaurant what kind of man he is by
calling for the chef by his christian name from the lobby.
HAXBY (n.)
Any garden implement found in a potting shed whose exact purpose is
A violent argument which breaks out in the car on the way home from a 
party between a couple who have had to be polite to each other in company 
all evening.
The dried yellow substance found between the prongs of forks in restaurants.
The correct name for the gold medallion worn by someone who is in the habit
of wearing their shirt open to the waist.
HEVER (n.)
The panic caused by half-hearing Tannoy in an airport.
The marks left on the outside breast pocket of a storekeeper's overall where
he has put away his pen and missed.
HICKLING (participial vb.)
The practice of infuriating theatergoers by not only arriving late to a
center-row seat, but also loudly apologizing to and patting each member of
the audience in turn.
To be caught in a hidcote bartram is to say a series of protracted and final
goodbyes to a group of people, leave the house and then realize you've left
your hat behind.
The topmost tread of a staircase which disappears when you've climbing the
stairs in the darkness.
Gossnargh (q.v.) three weeks later.
The awkward leaping maneuver a girl has to go through in bed in order to
make him sleep on the wet patch.
An 'injured' footballer's limb back into the game which draws applause but
doesn't fool anybody.
The wooden safety platform supported by scaffolding round a building under
construction from which the builders (at almost no personal risk) can drop
pieces of cement on passers-by.
HOFF (vb.)
To deny indignantly something which is palpably true.
The action of over-shaking a pair of dice in a cup in the mistaken belief
that this will affect the eventual outcome in your favor and not irritate
everyone else.
The combination of little helpful grunts, nodding movements of the head,
considerate smiles, upward frowns and serious pauses that a group of people
join in making in trying to elicit the next pronouncement of somebody with a
dreadful stutter.
HOVE (adj.)
Descriptive of the expression seen on the face of one person in the presence
of another who clearly isn't going to stop talking for a very long time.
The pool of edible gravy which surrounds an inedible and disgusting lump of
meat - eaten to give the impression that the person is 'just not very
hungry, but mmm this is delicious'. Cf. Peaslake - a similar experience had
by vegetarians.
HUBY (n.)
A half-erection large enough to be a publicly embarrassing bulge in the
trousers, not large enough to be of any use to anybody.
To crouch upwards: as in the movement of a seated person's feet and legs
made in order to allow a cleaner's Hoover to pass beneath them.
HULL (adj.)
Descriptive of the smell of a weekend cottage.
HUMBER (vb.)
To move like the cheeks of a very fat person as their car goes over a cattle
HUMBY (n.)
An erection which won't go down when a gentleman has to go for a pee in the
middle of making love to someone.
HUNA (n.)
The result of coming to the wrong decision.
Medieval ceremonial brass horn with which the successful execution of an
araglin (q.v.) is trumpeted from the castle battlements.
HUTLERBURN (n.archaic)
A burn sustained as a result of the behavior of a clumsy hutler. (The
precise duties of hutlers are now lost in the mists of history.)
The fibrous algae which grows in the dark, moist environment of trouser
Anything used to make a noise on a corrugated iron wall or clinker-built
fence by dragging it along the surface while walking past it. 'Mr Bennett
thoughtfully selected a stout ibstock and left the house.' - Jane Austen,
Pride and Prejudice, II.
IPING (participial vb.)
The increasingly anxious shifting from leg to leg you go through when you
are desperate to go to the lavatory and the person you are talking to keeps
on remembering a few final things he want to mention.
The sound at the other end of the telephone which tells you that the
automatic exchange is working very hard but is intending not actually to
connect you this time, merely to let you know how difficult it is.
JARROW (adj.)
An agricultural device which, when towed behind a tractor, enables the
farmer to spread his dung evenly across the width of the road.
JAWCRAIG (n. medical)
A massive facial spasm which is brought on by being told a really astounding
piece of news. A mysterious attack of jawcraig affected 40,000 sheep in
Whales in 1952.
JURBY (n.)
A loose woolen garment reaching to the knees and with three or more
armholes, knitted by the wearer's well- meaning but incompetent aunt.
The ancient Eastern art of being able to fold road-maps properly.
An extremely intricate knot originally used for belaying the topgallant
foresheets of a gaff-rigged China clipper, and now more commonly observed
when trying to gen an old kite out of the cupboard under the stairs.
KEELE (adj.)
The horrible smell caused by washing ashtrays.
KELLING (participial vb.)
A person searching for something, who has reached the futile stage of
re-looking i all the places they have looked once already, is said to be
KENT (adj.)
Politely determined not to help despite a violent urge to the contrary. Kent
expressions are seen on the faces of people who are good at something
watching someone else who can't do it at all.
Fitting exactly and satisfyingly. The cardboard box that slides neatly into
an exact space in a garage, or the last book which exactly fills a
bookshelf, is said to fit 'real nice and kentuckey'.
KERRY (n.)
The small twist of skin which separated each sausage on a string.
The marks left on your bottom or thighs after sunbathing on a wickerwork 
The quality of not being able to pee while being watched.
The footling amount of money by which the price of a given article in a shop
is less than a sensible number, in a vain hope that at least one idiot will
think it cheap. For instance, the kibblesworth on a pair of shoes priced at
19.99 is 1p.
The light breeze which blows through your armpit hair when you are stretched
out sunbathing.
A forty-year-old sixteen-stone man trying to commit suicide by jogging.
KIRBY (n.)
Small but repulsive piece of food prominently attached to a person's face or
clothing. See also CHIPPING ONGAR.
One who kindly attempts to wipe an apparent kirby (q.v.) off another's face
with a napkin, and then discovers it to be a wart or other permanent
fixture, is said to have committed a 'kirby misperton'.
Man who owns all the latest sporting gadgetry and clothing (gold trolley,
tee cozies, ventilated shoes, Gary Player- autographed tracksuit top,
American navy cap, mirror sunglasses) but is still only on his second gold
The mysterious fluff placed in your pockets by dry-cleaning firms.
Hard stare given by a husband to his wife when he notices a sharp increase
in the number of times he answers the phone to be told, 'Sorry, wrong
The folder on hotel dressing-tables full of astoundingly dull information.
Motorists' name for the kind of pedestrian who stands beside a main road and
waves on the traffic, as if it's their right of way.
A mere nothing, an unconsidered trifle, a negligible amount. Un touquet is
often defined as the difference between the cost of a bottle of gin bought
in an off-license and one bought in a duty-free shop.
LIFF (n.)
A book, the contents of which are totally belied by its cover. For instance,
any book the dust jacket of which bears the words. 'This book will change
your life'.
To jar one's leg as the result of the disappearance of a stair which isn't
there in the darkness.
LI??????? (adj.) (I fucked up with aspell and lost the word)
Descriptive of the pleasant smell of an empty biscuit tin.
The small mat on the bar designed to be more absorbent than the bar, but not
as absorbent as your elbows.
The member of any class who most inclines a teacher towards the view that
capital punishment should be introduced in schools.
Descriptive of the waggling movement of a person's hands when shaking water
from them or warming up for a piece of workshop theatre.
The long unaccomplished wail in the middle of a Scottish folk song where the
pipes nip around the corner for a couple of drinks.
A droplet which persists in running out of your nose.
One of those middle-aged ladies with just a hint of a luxuriant handlebar
LOUTH (n.)
The sort of man who wears loud check jackets, has a personalized tankard
behind the bar and always gets served before you do.
Seductive remark made hopefully in the back of a taxi.
A quiet little unregarded man in glasses who is building a new kind of
atomic bomb in his garden shed.
Common solution to the problems of a humby (q.v.)
(a) The balls of wool which collect on nice new sweaters. (b) The correct
name for 'navel fluff'.
(Of a large group of people who have been to the cinema together.) To stand
aimlessly about on the pavement and argue about whatever to go and eat
either a Chinese meal nearby or an Indian meal at a restaurant which somebody
says is very good but isn't certain where it is, or have a drink and think
about it, or just go home, or have a Chinese meal nearby - until by the time
agreement is reached everything is shut.
The telltale little lump in the top of your swimming trunks which tells you
you are going to have to spend half an hour with a safety pin trying to pull
the drawstring out again.
A wad of newspaper, folded tablenapkin or lump of cardboard put under a
wobbly table or chair to make it stand up straight. It is perhaps not widely
known that air-ace Sir Douglas Bader used to get about on an enormous pair
of ludlows before he had his artificial legs fitted.
Feeling you get when the pubs aren't going to be open for another forty-five
minutes and the luffness in beginning to wear a bit thin.
Hearty feeling that comes from walking on the moors with gumboots and cold
Measure of conversation. A lulworth defines the amount of the length,
loudness and embarrassment of a statement you make when everyone else in the
room unaccountably stops talking at the same time.
The piece of leather which hangs off the bottom of your shoe before you can
be bothered to get it mended.
LUSBY (n.)
The fold of flesh pushing forward over the top of a bra which is too small
for the lady inside it.
LUTON (n.)
The horseshoe-shaped rug which goes around a lavatory seat.
LYBSTER (n., vb.)
The artificial chuckle in the voice-over at the end of a supposedly funny
television commercial.
The opposite of a mavis enderby (q.v.) An unrequited early love of your life
who still causes terrible pangs though she inexplicably married a telephone
The inexpressible horror experienced on walking up in the morning and
remembering that you are Andy Stewart.
MAENTWROG (n. Welsh)
The height by which the top of a wave exceeds the height to which you have
rolled up your trousers.
The height by which the top of a wave exceeds the height to which you have
rolled up your trousers.
The small holes in a loaf of bread which give rise to the momentary
suspicion that something may have made its home within.
A hideous piece of chipboard veneer furniture bought in a suburban
highstreet furniture store and designed to hold exactly a year's supply of
Sunday colour supplements.
A margate is a particular kind of commissioner who sees you every day and
is on cheerful Christian-name terms with you, then one day refuses to let
you in because you've forgotten your identify card.
MARKET DEEPING (participial vb.)
Stealing one piece of fruit from a street fruit-and- vegetable stall.
The bottom drawer in the kitchen your mother keeps her paper bags in.
A person to whom, under dire injunctions of silence, you tell a secret which
you wish to be fare more widely known.
Those items and particles which people who, after blowing their noses, are
searching for when they look into their hankies.
(Of neckties.) Any colour which Nigel Rees rejects as unsuitable for his
trousers or jacket.
The almost-completely-forgotten girlfriend from your distant past for whom
your wife has a completely irrational jealousy and hatred.
MEATH (adj.)
Warm and very slightly clammy. Descriptive of the texture of your hands
after the automatic drying machine has turned itself off, just damp enough
to make it embarrassing if you have to shake hands with someone immediately
One who sets off for the scene of an aircraft crash with a picnic hamper.
MEETH (n.)
Something which American doctors will shortly tell us we are all suffering
The name of the style of decoration used in cocktail lounges in mock Tudor
hotels in Surrey.
The ghastly sound made by traditional folksingers.
A patent anti-wrinkle cream which policemen wear to keep themselves looking
The little bits of yellow fluff which get trapped in the hinge of the
windscreen wipers after polishing the car with a new duster.
The melodious whistling, chanting and humming tone of the milwaukee can be
heard whenever a public lavatory is entered. It is the way the occupants of
the cubicles have of telling you there's no lock on their door and you can't
come in.
The expression on a man's face when he has just zipped up his trousers
without due care and attention.
MOFFAT (n.tailoring term)
That part of your coat which is designed to be sat on by the person next of
you on the bus.
The kind of family that drives to the seaside and then sits in the car with
all the windows closed, reading the Sunday Express and wearing sidcups
The bundle of hair which is left after a monk has been tonsured, which he
keeps tired up with a rubber band and uses for chasing ants away.
The fourth wheel of a supermarket trolley which looks identical to the other
tree but renders the trolley completely uncontrollable.
Imagine being on a vacation, and it's raining all the time, you
are driving and the kids are making you a nervous wreck. Well you are
definitive in Mo i Rana.
MUGEARY (n.medical)
The substance from which the unpleasant little yellow globules in the
corners of a sleepy person's eyes are made.
A meadow selected, whilst driving past, as being ideal for a picnic which, 
from a sitting position, turns out to be full of stubble, dust and cowpats, 
and almost impossible to enjoy yourself in.
NAAS (n.)
The windmaking region of Albania where most of the wine that people take to
bottle-parties comes from.
The 'n' with which cheap advertising copywriters replace the word 'and' (as
in 'fish 'n' chips', 'mix 'n' match', 'assault 'n' battery'), in the
mistaken belief that this is in some way chummy or endearing.
NAD (n.)
Measure defined as the distance between a driver's outstretched fingertips
and the ticket machine in an automatic car-park. 1 nad = 18.4 cm.
NANHORON (n.medical)
A tiny valve concealed in the inner ear which enables a deaf grandmother to
converse quite normally when she feels like it, but which excludes
completely anything that sounds like a request to help with laying the
A late-night snack, invented by the Earl of Nantwich, which consists of the
dampest thing in the fridge, pressed between two of the driest things in the
fridge. The Earl, who lived in a flat in Clapham, invented the nantwich to
avoid having to go shopping.
NAPLES (pl.n.)
The tiny depression in a piece of Ryvita.
The stout metal instrument used for clipping labels on to exhibits at flower
A plastic sachet containing shampoo, polyfilla, etc., which is impossible to
open except by off the corners.
NAZEING (participial vb.)
The rather unconvincing noises of pretended interest which an adult has to
make when brought a small dull object for admiration by a child.
Any ensemble of especially unflattering and particular garments worn by a
woman which tell you that she is right at the forefront of fashion.
The feeling experienced when driving off for the first time on a brand new
A pair of P.J.Proby's trousers.
Nottage is the collective name for things which you find a use for
immediately after you've thrown them away. For instance, your greenhouse has
been cluttered up for years with a huge piece of cardboard and great fronds
of gardening string. You at last decide to clear all this stuff out, and you
burn it. Within twenty-four hours you will urgently need to wrap a large
parcel, and suddenly remember that luckily in your greenhouse there is some
The kind of person who has to leave before a party can relax and enjoy
In a choice between two or more possible puddings, the one nobody plumps
Sort of person who takes the lift to travel one floor.
OCKLE (n.)
An electrical switch which appears to be off in both positions.
A point made for the seventh time to somebody who insists that they know
exactly what you mean but clearly hasn't got the faintest idea.
OSHKOSH (n., vb.)
The noise made by someone who has just been grossly flattered and is trying
to make light of it.
A frilly spare-toilet-roll-cosy.
Small brass wind instrument used for summoning Vikings to lunch when they're
off on their longships, playing.
OBWESTRY (abs.n.)
Bloody-minded determination on part of a storyteller to continue a story
which both the teller and the listeners know has become desperately tedious.
Someone you don't want to invite to a party but whom you know you have to as
a matter of duty.
OUNDLE (vb.)
To walk along leaning sideways, with one arm hanging limp and dragging one
leg behind the other. Most commonly used by actors in amateur production of
Richard III, or by people carrying a heavy suitcase in one hand.
OZARK (n.)
One who offers to help just after all the work has been done.
PABBY (n.,vb.)
(Fencing term.) The play, or maneuver, where one swordsman leaps on to the
table and pulls the battleaxe off the wall.
The final state of mind of retired colonel before they come to take him
Something drawn or modeled by a small child which you are supposed to know
wait it is.
PAPPLE (vb.)
To do what babies do to soup with their spoons.
Technical term for the third take of an orgasm scene during the making of a
pornographic film.
PEEBLES (pl.n.)
Small, carefully rolled pellets of skegness (q.v.)
A South American ball game. The balls are whacked against a brick wall with 
a stout wooden bat until the prisoner confesses.
Welsh word which literally translates as 'leaking-biro-by-
The fear of peeling too few potatoes.
(English public-school slang). A prefect whose duty it is to surprise new
boys at the urinal humiliate them in a manner of his choosing.
One of those spray things used to wet ironing with.
PEVENSEY (n.archaic)
The right to collect shingle from the king's foreshore.
A trouser stain caused by a wimbledon (q.v.). Not to be confused with a
botley (q.v.)
Small odd-shaped piece of plastic or curious metal component found in the
bottom of kitchen rummage drawer when spring-cleaning or looking for
One of those rubber nodules found on the underneath side of a lavatory seat.
The background gurgling noise heard in Wimby Bars caused by people trying to
get the last bubbles out of their milkshakes by slurping loudly through
their straws.
Part of traditional mating rite. During the first hot day of spring, all the
men in the tube start giving up their seats to ladies and staphanging. The
purpose of pitsligo is for them to demonstrate their manhood by displaying
the wet patches under their arms.
PLEELEY (adj.)
Descriptive of a drunk person's attempt to be endearing.
To relate an amusing story to someone without remembering that it was they
who told it to you in the first place.
The (pointless) knob on top of a war memorial.
A hole drilled in chipboard lavatory walls by homosexuals for any one of a
number of purposes.
POGES (pl.n.)
The lumps of dry powder that remain after cooking a packet soup.
Gifted with ability to manipulate taps using only the feet.
One of those tiny ribbed-plastic and aluminum foil tubs of milk served on
trains enabling you to carry one safely back to you compartment where your
legs in comfort trying to get the bloody things open.
A polperro is the ball, or muff, of soggy hair found clinging to bath
POONA (n.)
Satisfied grunting noise made when sitting back after a good meal.
Dried remains of a week-old casserole, eaten when extremely drunk at two
The curious-shaped flat wads of dough left on a kitchen table after someone
has been cutting scones out of it.
QUABBS (pl.n.)
The substances which emerge when you squeeze a blackhead.
QUALL (vb.)
To speak with the voice of one who requires another to do something for
A rabidly left-wing politician who can afford to be that way because he
married a millionairess.
Something that happens when people make it up after an agglethorpe (q.v.)
A stubborn spot on a window which you spend twenty minutes trying to clean
off before discovering it's on the other side of the glass.
A person that no one has ever heard of who unaccountably manages to make a
living writing prefaces.
The hatefulness of words like 'relionus' and 'easiephit'.
All institutional buildings must, by law, contain at least twenty ramsgates.
These are doors which open the opposite way to the one you expect.
Fashion of trying ties so that the long thin end underneath dangles below
the short fat upper end.
The sort of remark only ever made during Any Questions.
RIPON (vb.)
(Of literary critics.) To include all the best jokes from the book in the
review to make it look as if the critic thought of them.
One who is able to gain occupation of the armrest on both sides of their
cinema or aircraft seat.
The man behind you in church who sings with terrific gusto almost tree
quarters of a tone off the note.
A peeble (q.v.) which is larger that a belper (q.v.)
A violent green shrub which is ground up, mixed with twigs and gelatin and
served with clonmult (q.v.) and buldoo (q.v.) in a container referred to for
no known reason as a 'relish tray'.
To spray the person you are talking to with half-chewed breadcrumbs or small
pieces of whitebait.
To sew municipal crests on to a windcheater in the belief that this will
make the wearer appear cosmopolitan.
A small dog which resembles a throw-rug and appears to be dead.
One of those peculiar beards-without-mustaches worn by religious Belgians
and American scientists which help them look like trolls.
A person who looks around then when talking to you, to see if there's anyone
more interesting about.
The flap of skin which is torn off you lip when trying to smoke an untipped
A small hunting dog trained to snuffle amongst your private parts.
To make vague opening or cutting movements with the hands when wandering
about looking for a tin opener, scissors, etc. in the hope that this will
help in some way.
A curious-shaped duster given to you by your mother which on closer 
inspection turns out to be half an underpant.
One of those dogs which has it off on your leg during tea.
To cut oneself whilst licking envelopes.
A person who, after the declaration of the bodmin (q.v.), always says,'...
But I only had the tomato soup.'
The absurd flap of hair a vain and balding man grows long above one ear to
comb it to the other ear.
To make the noise of a nylon anorak rubbing against a pair of corduroy
SCREGGAN (n.banking)
The crossed-out bit caused by people putting the wrong year on their checks
all through January.
The dehydrated felt-tip pen attached by a string to the 'Don't Forget' board
in the kitchen which has never worked in living memory but which no one can
be bothered to throw away.
The stout pubic hairs which protrude from your helping of moussaka in a
cheap Greek restaurant.
Something that hits the window as a result of a violent sneeze.
The last teaspoon in the washing up.
To make a noise like a train going along.
One who wears Trinidad and Tobago T-shirts on the beach in Bali to prove
they didn't just win the holiday in a competition or anything.
The hoop of skin around a single slice of salami.
The infinite smugness of one who knows they are entitled to a place in a
nuclear bunker.
Measure of distance (equal to approximately seven eighths of a mile),
defined as the closest distance at which sheep remain picturesque.
SHIFNAL (n.,vb.)
An awkward shuffling walk caused by two or more people in a hurry
accidentally getting into the same segment of revolving door. A similar
effect is achieved by people entering three-legged races unwisely joined at
the neck instead of the ankles.
SHIRMERS (pl.n.)
Tall young men who stand around smiling at weddings as if to suggest that
they know they bride rather well.
The vague uncomfortable feeling you get when sitting on a seat which is 
still warm from somebody else's bottom.
One of Germaine Greer's used-up lovers.
One of those hats made from tying knots in the corners of a handkerchief.
SILESIA (n.medical)
The inability to remember, at the critical moment, which is the better side
of a boat to be seasick off.
Something that was sticky, and is now furry, found on the carpet under the
sofa the morning after a party.
The little movement of false modesty by which a girl with a cavernous
visible cleavage pulls her skirt down over her knees.
One of those conversions where both people are waiting for the other one to
shut up so they can get on with their bit.
Nose excreta of a malleable consistency.
SKELLOW (adj.)
Descriptive of the satisfaction experienced when looking at a really good
dry-stone wall.
The flakes of athlete's foot found inside socks.
Apparently self-propelled little dance a beer glass performs in its own
The noise made by a sunburned thigh leaving plastic chair.
SLIGO (n.)
An unnamed and exotic sexual act which people like to believe that famous
films stars get up to in private. 'To commit slingo.'
Hillwalking dialect for the seven miles of concealed rough moorland which
lie between what you though was the top of the hill and what actually is.
The gooey drips of wax that dribble down the sides of a candle so beloved by
Italian restaurants with Chianti bottles instead of wallpaper.
A lurid facial bruise which everyone politely omits to mention because it's
obvious that you had a punch-up with your spouse last night - but which
into a door. Is is useless to volunteer the true explanation because nobody
will believe it.
The cigarette end someone discovers in the mouthful of lager they have just
swigged from a can at the end of party.
To keep your mouth shut by smiling determinedly through you teeth.
Smardening is largely used by people trying to give the impression that
they're enjoying a story they've heard at least six times before.
The correct name for a junior apprentice greengrocer whose main duty is to
arrange the fruit so that the bad side is underneath. From the name of a
character not in Dickens.
SNEEM (n.,vb.)
Particular kind of frozen smile bestowed on a small child by a parent in
mixed company when question, 'Mummy, what's this ?' appears to require the
answer,''s a rubber johnny,darling'.
One of the rather unfunny newspaper clippings pinned to an office wall, the
humour of which is supposed to derive from the fact that the headline
contains a name similar to that of one of the occupants to the office.
Someone who pins snitters (q.v.) on to snitterfields (q.v.) and is also
suspected of being responsible for the extinction of virginstows (q.v.)
Office noticeboard on which snitters (q.v.),cards saying 'You don't have to
be mad to work here, but if you are it helps !!!' and slightly smutty
postcards from Ibiza get pinned up by snitterbies (q.v.)
SOLENT (adj.)
Descriptive of the state of serene self-knowledge reached through drink.
Uncovered bit between two shops with awnings, which you have to cross when
it's raining.
That which has to be cleaned off castle floors in the morning after a
bagpipe contest or vampire attack.
To tidy up a room before the cleaning lady arrives.
The violent colour of one of Nigel Rees's jackets, worn when he thinks he's
being elegant.
The erection you cannot conceal because you're not wearing a jacket.
The tapping moments of an index finger on glass made by a person futilely
attempting to communicate with either a tropical fish or a post office
STURRY (n.,vb.)
A token run. Pedestrians who have chosen to cross a road immediately in
front of an approaching vehicle generally give a little wave and break into
a sturry. This gives the impression of hurrying without having any practical
effect on their speed whatsoever.
SUTTON and CHEAM (nouns)
Sutton and cheam are the kinds of dirt into which all dirt is divided.
'Sutton' is the dark sort that always gets on to light-coloured things,
'cheam' the light-coloured sort that clings to dark items. Anyone who has
ever found Marmite stains on a dress-shirt or seagull goo on a dinner jacker
(a) knows all about sutton and cheam, and (b) is going to tome very curious
dinner parties.
SWANAGE (pl.n.)
Swanage is the series of diversionary tactics used when trying to cover up
the existence of a glossop (q.v.) and may include (a) uttering a high-pitched
laugh and pointing out of the window (NB. this doesn't work more that
twice); (b) sneezing as loudly as possible and wiping the glossop off the
table in the same movement as whipping out your handkerchief; (c) saying
'Christ! I seem to have dropped some shit on your table' (very unwise); (d)
saying 'Christ, who did that?' (better) (e) pressing your elbow on the
glossop itself and working your arms slowly to the edge of the table; (f)
leaving the glossop where it is but moving a plate over it and putting up
with sitting at an uncomfortable angle the rest of the meal; or, if the
glossop is in too exposed a position, (g) leaving it there unremarked except
for the occasional humourous glance.
Complete shagged out after a hard day having income tax explained to you.
The little spoonful inside the lid of a recently opened boiled egg.
The look directed at you in a theatre bar in the interval by people who've
already got their drinks.
TAMPA (n.)
The sound of a rubber eraser coming to rest after dropping off a desk in a
very quiet room.
TAROOM (vb.)
To make loud noises during the night to let the burglars know you are in.
An embarrassing mistake arising out of confusing the shape of something
rather rude with something perfectly ordinary when groping for it in the
darkness. A common example of a tegucigalpa is when a woman pulls a packet
of Tampax out of her bag and offers them around under the impression that it
is a carton of cigarettes.
Ancient mad tramp who jabbers to himself and swears loudly and obscenely on
station platforms and traffic islands.
THROCKING (participial vb.)
The action of continually pushing down the lever on a pop-up toaster in the
hope that you will thereby get it to understand that you want it to toast
something. Also : a style of drum-playing favoured by Nigel Olsson of the
Elton John Band, reminiscent of the sound of someone slapping a frankfurter
against a bucket. An excellent example of this is to be heard on 'Someone
Save My Life Tonight' from the album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt
The soul of a departed madman : one of those now known to inhabit the timing
mechanish of pop-up toasters.
The irritating man next to you in a concert who thinks he's (a) the
conductor, (b) the brass section.
THRUPP (vb.)
To hold a ruler on one end on a desk and make the other end go
A rucked-up edge of carpet or linoleum which everyone says someone will trip
over and break a leg unless it gets fixed. After a year or two someone trips
over it and breaks a leg.
Criss-cross wooden construction hung on a wall in a teenage girl's bedroom
which is covered with glass bambies and poodles, matching pigs and porcelain
ponies in various postures.
The corner of a toenail from which satisfying little black deposits may be
The accomplice or 'lure' who gets punters to participate in the three-card
trick on London streets by winning an improbable amount of money very
The man-to-man chumminess adopted by an employer as a prelude for telling
an employee that he's going to have to let him go.
TIMBLE (vb.)
(Of small nasty children.) To fail over very gently, look around to see
who's about, and then yell blue murder.
A man who amuses himself in your lavatory by pulling the chain in mid-pee and
then seeing if he can finish before the flush does.
The feeling of silver paper against your fillings.
One whose idea of a good time is to stand behind his front hedge and give
surly nods to people he doesn't know.
The business of talking amiably and aimlessly to the barman at the local.
TOLOB (n.)
A crease or fold in an under-blanket, the removal of which involves getting
out of bed an largely remaking it.
What the police in Leith require you to say in order to prove that you are
not drunk.
A car behind which one draws up at the traffic lights and hoots at when the
lights go green before realizing that the car is parked and there is no one
Narrow but thickly grimed strip of floor between the fridge and the sink 
unit in the kitchen of a rented flat.
Generic term for anything which comes out of a gush despite all your careful 
efforts to let it out gently, e.g. flour into a white sauce, tomato ketchup 
on to fried fish, sperm into a human being, etc.
The ridiculous two-inch hunch that people adopt when arriving late for the
theatre in the vain and futile hope that it will minimize either the
embarrassment of the lack of visibility for the rest of the audience. c.f.
To make a noise like a train crossing a set of points.
A very thick and heavy drift of snow balanced precariously on the edge of a
door porch waiting for what it judges to be the correct moment to fall. From
the ancient Greek legend 'The Treewofe of Damocles'.
A form of intelligent grass. It grows a single, tough stalk and makes its 
home on lawns. When it sees the lawnmower coming it lies down and pops up 
again after it has gone by.
TROSSACHS (pl.n.) 
The useless epaulets on an expensive raincoat.
A hideous wooden ornament that people hang over the mantelpiece to prove 
they've been to Africa.
TULSA (n.)
A slurp of beer which has accidentally gone down your shirt collar.
TUMBY (n.)
The involuntary abdominal gurgling which fills the silence following someone
else's intimate personal revelation.
TWEEDSMUIR (collective n.)
The name given to the extensive collection of hats kept in the downstairs
lavatory which don't fit anyone in the family.
The colour of some of Nigel Rees's trousers, worn in the mistaken belief
that they go rather well with his sproston green (q.v.) jackets.
A popular East European outdoor game in which the first person to reach 
the front of the meat queue wins, and the losers have to forfeit their 
bath plugs.
TYNE and WEAR (nouns)
The 'Tyne' is the small priceless or vital object accidentally dropped on
the floor (e.g. diamond tie-clip, contact lens) and the 'wear' is the large
immovable object (e.g. Welsh dresser, car-crusher) that it shelters under.
The spittle which builds up on the floor of the Royal Opera House.
An over-developed epiglottis found in middle-aged coloraturas.
The correct name for either of the deaf Scandinavian tourists who are
standing two abreast in front of you on the escalator.
The awful moment which follows a dorchester (q.v.) when a speaker weighs up
whether to repeat an amusing remark after nobody laughed the last time. To
be on the horns of an umberleigh is to wonder whether people didn't hear the
remark, or whether they did hear it and just didn't think it was funny,
which was why somebody coughed.
That part of a kitchen cupboard which contains an unnecessarily large number
of milk jugs.
A small but immensely complex mechanical device which is essentially the
'brain' of a modern coffee-vending machine, and which enables the machine to
take its own decisions.
On ornate head-dress or loose garment worn by a person in the belief that it
renders then invisibly native and not like a tourist at all. People who don
huge conical straw collie hats with 'I Luv Lagos' on them in Nigeria, or fat
solicitors from Tonbridge on holiday in Malaya who insist on appearing in
the hotel lobby wearing a sarong know what we're on about.
The technical name for one of those huge trucks with whirling brushes on the
bottom used to clean streets.
One who, having been visited as a child by a mysterious gypsy lady, is 
gifted with the strange power of being able to operate the air-nozzles 
above aeroplane seats.
A Durex machine which doesn't have the phrase 'So was the Titanic' scrawled
on it. The word has now fallen into disuse.
A strain of perfectly healthy rodent which develops cancer the moment it
enter a laboratory.
WARLEGGAN (n.archaic)
One who does not approve of araglins (q.v.)
WATH (n.)
The rage of Roy Jenkins.
WEEM (n.)
The tools with which a dentist can inflict the greatest pain. Formerly,
which tool this was was dependent upon the imagination and skill of the
individual dentist, though now, with technological advances, weems can be
bought specially.
The hideous moment of confirmation that the disaster presaged in the ely
(q.v.) has actually struck.
(Veterinary term.) The operation to trace an object swallowed by a cow
through all its seven stomachs. Hence, also (1) en expedition to discover
where the exits are in the Barican Centre, and (2) a search through the
complete works of Chaucer for all the rude bits.
WEST WITTERING (participial vb.)
The uncontrollable twitching which breaks out when you're trying to get away
from the most boring person at a party.
A moist penis.
A homicidal golf stroke.
A business car in you wallet belonging to someone whom you have no
recollection of meeting.
The nose which occurs (often by night) in a strange house, which is too
short and too irregular for you ever to be able to find out what it is and
where it comes from.
The sort of person who impersonates trimphones.
WIGAN (n.)
If, when talking to someone you know has only one leg, you're trying to
treat then perfectly casually and normally, but find to your horror that
your conversion is liberally studded with references to (a) Long John
Silver, (b) Hopalong Cassidy, (c) The Hockey Cokey, (d) 'putting your foot
in it', (e) 'the last leg of the UEFA competition', you are said to have
committed a wigan. The word is derived from the fact that sub-editors at ITN
used to manage to mention the name of either the town Wigan, or Lord Wigg,
in every fourth script that Reginald Bosanquet was given to read.
WIKE (vb.)
To rip a piece of sticky plaster off your skin as fast as possible in the
hope that it will (a) show how brave you are, and (b) not hurt.
Of a person whose hearth is in the wrong place (i.e. between their legs).
That last drop which, no matter how much you shake it, always goes down your
trouser leg.
A lost object which turns up immediately you've gone and bought a
replacement for it.
A person in a restaurant who suggest to their companions that they should
split the cost of the meal equally, and then orders two packets of
cigarettes on the bill.
The cry of alacrity with which a sprightly eighty-year-old breaks the ice on
the lake when going for a swim on Christmas Eve.
WOKING (participial vb.)
Standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in here for.
A mumbled, mispronounced or mishears word in a song, speech or play.
Derived from the well-known mumbles passage in Hamlet :
 '...and the spurns,
  That patient merit of the unworthy
  When he himself might his quietus
  With a bare bodkin? Who
  To grunt and sweat under a weary
A kind of poltergeist which specializes in stealing new copies of the A-Z
from your car.
A person who never actually gets round to doing anything because he spends
all his time writing out lists headed 'Things to Do (Urgent)'.
Any seventeen-year-old who doesn't know about anything at all in the world
other than bicycle gears.
The feeling after having tried to dry oneself with a damp towel.
Of a steel ball, to settle into a hole.
WROOT (n.)
A short little berk who thinks that by pulling on his pipe and gazing
shrewdly at you he will give the impression that he is infinitely wise and 5
ft 11 in.
WYOMING (participial vb.)
Moving in hurried desperation from one cubicle to another in a public
lavatory trying to find one which has a lock on the door, a seat on the bowl
and no brown streaks on the seat.
(Of offended pooves.) To exit huffily from a boutique.
To shout at foreigners in the belief that the louder you speak, the better
they'll understand you.
YATE (n.)
Dishearteningly white piece of bread which sits limply in a pop-up toaster
during a protracked throcking (q.v.) session.
One of the hat-hanging corks which Australians wear for making Qantas
A 'yes, maybe' which means 'no'.
The kind of resturant advertised as 'just three minutes from this cinema'
which clearly nobody ever goes to and, evn if they had ever contemplated it,
have certainly changed their minde since seeing the advert.
(Rare.) The combind thrill of pain and shame when being caught in public
plucking your nostril-hairs and stuffing them into your side-pocket.
YORK (vb.)
To shift the position of the shoulder straps on a heavy bag or rucksack in a
vain attempt to make it seem lighter. Hence : to laugt falsely and heartily
at an unfunny remark. 'Jasmine yorked politely, loathing him to the depths
of her being' - Virginia Woolf.
(Skiing term.) To ski with 'zeal monchorum' is to decend the top three
quaters of the mountain in a quivering blue funk, but on arriving at the
gentle bit just in front of the resturant to whizz to a stop like a
victerious slalom-champion.