Sunday, May 28, 2006

The East Anglian Meaning of Liff

Douglas Adams paved the way, showing how the names of places nobody ever visited could be pressed into service to describe human experiences for which no words had hitherto existed. I feel that an East Anglian version has been long overdue. Here are the words from A to C in this bootiful compooter-generated lexicoon.

abington piggots
If you have ever been to Italy and eaten pasta alla pagliarda in the belief that you were in for a treat, you know what abington piggots are. Even when translated, you are still not sure what part of the beast's lower intestines were involved. You just wish you had stuck to the pizza.

The terrible feeling of inadequacy on walking into the kitchen and seeing several days' accumulation of unwashed dishes in the sink. Bank statements often provoke a similar feeling to aldreth.

anmer, orig anomer
An alternative method for abbreviating words in text messaging. Whereas the normal method is to remove the vowels, eg, "whr s th prty tnght?", the anmer method removes the consonants, eg "ee i e a oi?" The anmer method was bitterly opposed by Muslims and Hebrews, but they needn't have bothered, because it did not catch on anyway. Or, in anmer, "i i o a o aa."

A surfeit of nature programmes.

A tangle of undies in a knicker drawer.

A careless untidy fellow whose trousers keep slipping down. (cf Italian "bracalone", defined as "a careless untidy fellow whose trousers keep slipping down")

barnham broom
A tool for sweeping chaff into neat piles, thus ensuring the survival of sparrows and other seed-eating birds during the winter months. Now banned by the EU, as indeed are the birds.

The price of half a pint of beer, just enough to get you legitimately into a pub. After that, you just wait in hope that someone else will buy your next drink. Known on Merseyside as "the latchlifter".

A toff's word for dick.

Barton Mills
A nattily-dressed plummy-voiced pillock who, when you discover he was at the same college as you at Oxford, makes you wish you had accepted Birmingham U's offer instead.

A risk-laden alternative to the hot water bottle, a bedon is made from an overstow (qv) filled with burning straw, but it is still better than cuddling up to Anne Robinson.

belaugh (pron: be`law!!)
An expletive unknown outside the fens (as indeed are the howling winter winds from the Urals which provoke it)

bircham adj
Descriptive of the attitude of matrons at Conservative Conferences who abhor cruelty to seaside donkeys, but who are in favour of corporal punishment for adolescent miscreants. Also, a lucrative service offered in Holland Park.

An explanation for the paradox of Schroedinger's Cat which you understood at the time, but which abandoned you one minute later.Your current stance is "Why not Just open the effing box?"

Padding; stuffing. Descriptive passages in novels that add nothing to the story are typical bourn, as is the content of a fish finger.

bracon ash
The fate of your breakfast if you answer the phone in mid fry-up.

brandon parva
An actor who mumbles and gets fired.

Anything that babbles.

A type of shoe for veldt-trekkers, most of whom look like John Prescott (the trekkers, not the shoes. Oh, I don't know though......)

A suspicious mound of earth in a well-kept garden. Schliemann attributed his success to his obsession as a child with digging up catworths in his parents' garden and cataloguing what he found. On digging through seven layers of civilisation at Troy, he is reported to have cried "Katzenscheiss, endlich hat man 'was gekriegt!" Hence, any much sought-after object, eg, a ballpoint pen at a bank counter that writes.

chatteris n
[1] A lascivious gardener.
[2] A knocking engine.

chittering, n
The nervous twitch of someone unable to make a choice from a Chinese takeaway menu. People who chitter invariably end up choosing the same dish they ordered last time.

cley (pron to rhyme with "my") adj
A useful coinage, combining cunning with sly. Its use is confined to dodgy birders who report the sighting of a rarity to Birdline without leaving their names.

clint green
An actor who snarls and gets fired.

cockley cley
The jaunty expression on the face of a man in a queue at a supermarket checkout who is unaware that his flies are undone.

colne vb (pron colne)
The anal twitch which advises a sleeping drunk that it is time to get up.

Every woman has a drawer or a box or a large tin stuffed with "coton". Even liberated females who vowed never to be like their mothers usually end up with one. See also girton.

coveney, adj
A term confined to the Women's Institute to describe members' condition at the end of a really erotic evening of jam making. Not to be confused with a welney (qv).

An unidentifiable plant that you come across in your herbaceous border, and which you leave "just to see what it turns into". By the time you realise that it's a nasty weed, it has already seeded, thereby laying the foundations for an unstoppable plague of cowbits.

The state of a crisply-ironed handkerchief after five minutes in a trouser pocket.

A seaside tout with a chemical kit who can turn a 2p piece into a 10p piece for a modest fee of 50p.

A reluctance to trim your toenails in case witches get hold of the parings and put a hex on you.

A momentary glimpse of the inevitable collapse of all one's dreams just before the alchohol kicks in.

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