Monthly Archives: April 2012

Language Lessons

After confusing a friend of mine on a regular basis with prolific use of “weird English words” in my text messages, I have recently been educating her with a Word of the Day. As well as providing her with endlessly fascinating snippets of information, this serves the purpose of allowing me to be as nonsensical as I please.

A poor-quality picture of the squirrel in our garden, for no particular reason.

Some nuggets from the collection:

Queue: Demoted to simply ‘line’ in American English, the Brits have elevated queuing to an art form as elegant as the word itself.

Ey Oop: Traditional greeting of the yokel, this phrase admittedly loses impact when presented in a written medium.

Gubbins: Interchangeable with ‘nonsense’ or ‘malarkey’, this word nevertheless transcends the mundanity of its alternatives.

Natter: Though there is little difference between this word and “chat”, it is the better choice if said witterings are, or will be, more intense and delivered more rapidly than your average conversation. Applicable mostly to the kind of gossip sessions that please women, but baffle men.

Spanner: ‘Tool’ is a perfectly adequate insult to throw at someone for their idiotic behaviour, but there is something to be said for the greater impact of its inexplicably specific UK counterpart.

Undercrackers: How this word, meaning ‘underwear’, has failed to make its way across the oceans is beyond my ken, but I have plans to remedy the situation. There are few Americans with whom I have come into contact that remain ignorant of the glory of the undercracker.

Suggestions for upcoming lessons will be accepted gratefully.