Friday, July 14, 2006

East Anglian Liffery W-Z

Any unmissable excrescence on a person’s face which makes it impossible for you to concentrate on what they are saying. Nose and lip rings are self-inflicted warboys and have the same effect.

Wardy Hill
A sort of happy landfill site or Erewhon, where lost objects like odd socks and the tops off toothpaste tubes end up. Seepage from the Wardy Hill sock mountain partly accounts for march [2] (qv).

The inner dialogue of a motorist stuck in a snarl-up on the M25 which inexplicably clears after about five miles. Wayheading usually involves speculation on the theory of wave movement, Newton's Cradle and the behaviour of springs.

welney adj
Descriptive of an excited state that is rumoured to arise after a really intense session of flower arranging.

The act of emitting a series of high-pitched mouselike farts. Much favoured by vaudeville petomanes, who used weeting to reproduce (approximately) "Goodbye Dolly Gray" and other popular melodies of the day.

Buying not one but two lottery tickets in the belief that you thereby double your chances of winning.

The kind of receptionist who makes sure that you will never reach the person who can really help you.

westley waterless
A South American houseplant that dies on you after three days despite all your efforts. Tesco's have an excellent range of westley waterless plants, all on special offer.

wicken adj.
A synonym for damp. Descriptive of still-wet hands resulting from not wanting to linger at the automatic hand dryer in a busy public toilet.

wiggenhall st german's
Laughing at the soldier called Schultz in old WWII war movies.

wiggens green
Vegetables like curly kale, spring greens and spinach, which you buy in the belief that they will provide you with free radicals to destroy your antioxidants. Or free antioxidants to destroy your radicals. Or antiradicals to ......well, whichever. They smell and taste like silage and are best fed to uncritical cattle. (See also mickley green.)

The forced smile of the woman on the supermarket checkout till when faced with a cockley cley (qv).

The person in a medieval community that everyone felt superior to (cf Yiddish nebbish). Thus relieved of the need to be good at anything, wimpoles tended to be relaxed and healthy and stupid and loud-mouthed, and to live to a great age. Many hereditary peers are descended from wimpoles.

Driving a roundtrip of 70 miles to a cheap supermarket to get 3p off a packet of fags.

wisbech (pron. `whizz-beach)
Any attempted heroic or athletic feat which precedes a pratfall, eg, a triple somersault which ends up in traction. A speciality of British Prime Ministers.

The ralph or mischievous spirit that moves objects from where you KNOW you left them: keys, wallets, scissors, etc.

witcham toll
Visiting the same places several times in the hope that a mislaid object will somehow magically re-materialise.

wood dalling
Doing in a wood what would be infinitely more comfortable in a field (but see field dalling)

wood ditton
[1] A miniscule splinter in the pad of a finger which is too small to excavate with a pin, and which gets more painful with each passing day.
[2] An irritating prick.

A replete blackbird, only to be seen while the dew is still on the grass.

A good example of an hapax logomenon, the word is known only from a line in Macbeth: “If it were done, when ‘tis done, wortwell it were done quickly.”
Most scholars now reject the theory that Macbeth was issuing an instruction to a hitman called Cyril Wortwell, so god knows what it means.

The futile act of trying to look graceful while taking off one's underpants standing up.

There is no part of the human body that will not become yaxley in time. Teenage slang from the Beatles era, but now that the buggers are ageing fast themselves, they aren't so smug any more. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

The way wimpoles (qv) speak into their mobile phones in public places. Women in hats adopt the same technique in tea rooms without any mechanical aids whatsoever.

[Envoi: a supplement to the East Anglian Liff Dictionary is in preparation. You are invited to add your own words and definitions: email your gems to me at]

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