Words of Mouth

As recent statistics have shown – that Takeaway Time is an actual time and happens around 7pm anywhere in the world where there’s a menu and a mobile phone – I have noticed a lack of blogs dropping into my inbox. Aha! Must be the summer holidays, or the Sholidays, if you will. Not that everyone goes away to holiday – quite often holidays these days can just mean not wading into the on-line fray to blog or tweet, or leaving your phone turned off. Ah, the pleasures of being disconnected.

But if you are still connected, but in an indolent, can’t really be arsed, holibob kind of way, here is a little wordful summertime blog, embracing lots of silly words that absolutely should be used far more often. Thank you, OED, and every single one of you cyberwriters.

Starting near the top of the dictionary, I found this word – Abacist – which is a person who makes calculations using an abacus. They’re just everywhere aren’t they, those abacists. But what a great character for your next short story or even novel. Architect? Schmarchitect.  Doctor? No thanks. Pilot? Nah. I know! An Abacist…

Honeyfuggle: Not a type of hop, (although it should be) this means to deceive or swindle and has a soft gooey sound to it. It could lend itself to some sort of poem or imaginary recipe. Take three beans, a can of water juice, some starlight and splosh of mermaid tear, mix well and leave out under a full moon to set. Be careful not to use it to Honeyfuggle your neighbour.  

Lollygag: The origin of this word is unknown, but it first appeared in the 1860s and means someone who is messing around or wasting time, or who is doing something that isn’t serious or useful and is to all intents and purposes, idle. Not quite sure how you’d slip that into conversation these days

Dev:    See Dave over there?
Paul:   Yeah?
Dev:    ‘E’s a bit lollygag, isn’t ‘e?
Paul:   pause Not a clue mate…

Taradiddle: a posh word for a petty lie.
Tara Diddle: Age 32, single. Self-starter, entrepreneur, thief.
You can have that one.

ELI5: I like this one, and it’s courtesy of our friend the internet. For those who don’t know, it means Explain Like I’m 5. I used it recently when ‘chatting’ with a mechanic about an issue with my car. Once the mechanic stopped talking compressors and crankshafts at me I muttered ‘Eli5’ at him. Then of course had to explain what I was talking about…

Pauciloquent: not in use much these days, unfortunately, and it means a person who uses few words in speech or conversation. Makes a change from someone being simply dull, I suppose

Blimpery: An attitude or outlook that pompously and peremptorily rejects social change, new ideas etc., in the manner of Colonel Blimp; Oh and don’t we know a few of them?!!

Frabjous: – this means joyful, apparently, and was created by Lewis Carroll in Through the Looking Glass. Not sure it really caught on…

Quaaltagh: (Manx English) This is the practice or custom of going in a group from door to door at Christmas or New Year, typically making a request for food or other gifts in the form of a song. Or in other words, annoying your friends and neighbours by singing loudly, out of tune and in their faces, encouraged by a little too much beer or lager. Most popular songs include ‘I Reeeeeally Love You’, ‘Kebab! Kebab! Kebab!’  ‘Sh*t I’ve Lost My Phone’ and ‘Can I use Your Loo?’

How can you not use this word: Roocoocooing. It means the cooing of a pigeon or dove. Awww

Rosal: hardly used anymore, this means, unsurprisingly Rose-Coloured or Rosy. Easily infiltrated into an historical novel MS if tried hard enough (‘cause everyone’s got a spare one of those hanging around somewhere)

You might not use this one very often, and I’ve only included it here because I like the word proglottids: Strobila – the segmented part of the body of a tapeworm that consists of a long chain of proglottids. Police Procedural anyone?


I can’t remember when I last heard this word being used. Or the first time, come to that. Yolkiness: the quality or character of being…er…yolky. But then any word with two ‘y’s and a ‘k’ in it has to be good. Or maybe Dutch.

And number fourteen in this (I like to think) educational list, Nollie: (and it’s one I do All The Time) – a jump performed in skateboarding and snowboarding without the aid of a take-off ramp, executed by pressing the foot down on the nose of the board.

Not included for the word itself, but because I like the idea of needing a take-off ramp. For anything. The applications are endless, starting with getting out of bed in the morning…

Happy Hols!