Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A last lingering look at Liffery

bure (WWII slang)
Properly, B.U.R.E. One of many acronyms written on the backs of envelopes to sweethearts during the war, eg, SWALK = “sealed with a loving kiss”; BOLTOP = “better on lips than on paper”, NORWICH = “(k)nickers off ready when I come home”. B.U.R.E stood, it’s too lurid (and illegal in many countries). You work it out.

A hen party, an opportunity for women to get together and hate each other.

A considerate man who chooses the farthest stall in a urinal so as not to provoke envy in other users of the facility. The most famous cockthorpe was Winston Churchill, who when asked by Clement Attlee if he was “ashamed of it”, replied: “No, it’s just that whenever you buggers see something big, you nationalise it.”

costessey adj
A peculiarly British affliction, it means becoming infuriated when trying to compare prices and quantities of goods described in a mix of metric and imperial..Napoleon must be giggling in his sarcophagus.

drayton drewray
The converse of Occam’s Razor, much in vogue these days. It is the proposition that “Other things being equal, the wordiest most complicated explanation is the right one.”

etling green [from OE etle vb, to bewilder]
The colour, never seen in Nature, of the gumboots and waterproof coats favoured by the owners of Range Rovers.

feltbrigg adj
Descriptive of the satisfaction a man feels after volunteering to do a household chore. He then dissipates the goodwill thus engendered by some remark like “I’ve done your dishes for you, darling.”

foxley adj
Perplexed, bemused, caused by pondering unfathomable questions, such as where all those splendid summer bosoms disappear to in the wintertime.

fulmodeston [pron /fundltn/]
The noise “fndltn” or something like it is used by people who, when invited to do so, desperately want, but are too timid to take, the last biscuit on a plate.

The strange odour arising from an old man after sitting too long in a leather armchair.

An inexpressible feeling of joy on leaving Telford.

The fury provoked by a tangled shoelace.

A limp affected by a perfectly fit person as a way of getting across a busy road. The cemeteries are full of failed holters.

Any pointy device used by a child to explore the mysteries of an electric wall socket.

A version of Hide and Seek in which unpopular children are told to hide and the ones who are “it” don’t bother to go and find them.

A dismissive toss of the head affected by queens of one kind and another.

irstead, vb
Irsteaders are the people who insert unnecessary apostrophes, eg “a dog and it’s bone” “potato’s” etc. For further details, visit their website’s-shoot’s-‘n’-leave’

A neighbour who gives barmy advice, eg, “Tealeaves, that’s what you should feed your penstemon”. Surprisingly, it is against the law to strangle kenratts.

A wiremesh gizmo for removing the limescale from false teeth.

Leonard Childs
The man credited with the invention of the leather elbow patch for schoolmasters’ tweed jackets. In hot weather, Childs liked to wear the patches without the jacket.

A talking vibrator.

little ryburgh
A small dry biscuit which effectively kills the taste of any cheese you put on it.

An ornate portal to a cemetery for pet cats, usually with the superscription “Nine down, none to go”

A carbootaholic, someone trying to earn a crust by buying junk at one sale and selling it at another. Many failed entrepreneurs began their careers as tatterfords.

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