FUN WITH WORDS

Below is a sampling of entrees from one of the Washington Post’s most popular annual contests, the Neologism Contest, in which contestants are asked to create new words with various restrictions. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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CHANGE A WORD BY ONE LETTER

Guiltar: A musical instrument whose strings are pulled by your mother.

Eruditz: A philosophy professor who can’t figure out how to work the copying machine.

Skilljoy: The would-be friend who’s a bit better than you at everything.

Sparadigm: A model panhandler.

SPELL A WORD BACKWARD:

Nword: Something that gets you in really deep trouble. 

Onisac: A dark, often smoke-filled chamber in which elderly Homo sapiens deposit their nest eggs before dying. 

WORDS ENDING IN -ION

Errudition: Comical misuse of big words. “Madam, your dress looks positively superfluous on you tonight,” he said with amazing errudition.

Percycution: Giving your child a name he will hate for the rest of his life.

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WORDS CONTAINING A BLOCK OF THREE CONSECUTIVE LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET

Coughin: A small enclosure designed especially for smokers.

PORTMANTEAU (OVERLAPPING) WORDS

Treadmillstone: The unused home gym that keeps staring at you.

Crapplause: A polite but unenthusiastic expression of approval.

PALINDROME TERM

AHA HAHA: When you finally get the joke.

MOVE A WORD’S FIRST LETTER TO THE END

Carecrows: Women who are so devoted to their men that they frighten them away.

13-LETTER WORDS

Typochondriac: A paranoid proofreader.

COMBINE THE BEGINNING AND END OF TWO WORDS FROM THE DAY’S PAPER

Prob-solutely: A definite maybe.

Ignorial: A monument that nobody visits.

FUN

 

PUNS

These are puns for educated minds.  So ALL of you are welcome, of course!  I made up my mind that I’d not add too many pictures… because they’ll probably just disappear, like SO MANY other pictures I’ve posted…. (screaming in the background).  HOWEVER… once again I got “carried away” (and have done a LOT of laughing). I COULDN’T HELP MEE-SELF!!!!  If the pictures don’t show up, I have NO idea what to do about it.  SIGH…. I hope you have FUN anyway!!

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Have a good time with these puns!!

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The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

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I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

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A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

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A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

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A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart

Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

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Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

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Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’

I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

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A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’

The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

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The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

A backward poet writes inverse.

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In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your Count that votes.

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When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine .

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’

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(FEI’S COUSINS PRETTY MUCH LAUGH ALL THE TIME!!)

Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says ‘Dam!’

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Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

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Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

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There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

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WHAT’S UP??

This is a very amusing story about the word “up.”  After you read it you realize how many times you use the word “up” and with different meanings.  This word… UP … in the English language has more meanings than any other 2-letter word. It can be a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition. Keep reading, OK?  Don’t give UP!  ARE YOU UP???

UP16  UP13

It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in  the morning, why do we wake UP? I am convinced, as I’ve pondered this, that sometimes I wake DOWN. Really.  I’m not kidding.  But I admit that I almost always wake UP.

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At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?  Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to  the secretary to write UP a  report?  We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver (like they did on all the seasons of Downton Abbey), warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

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There are times when this little word has a pretty specific, special meaning:  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is like for Sunday or other times and events which require our “Sunday best.”
And here’s one that’s pretty confusing:  A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. Hello? We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!  (I know you’re thinking UP other ways to keep mee UP tonight thinking about UP…. Admit it!  You’re UP to something!

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To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary.  HINT: IT’s in “U.” In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. Look it UP!

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If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.  It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.  UP to you.

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Oh… and there IS that MOVIE… (You already thought that UP, didn’t you!)

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When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.  When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP.  When it rains, the earth soaks it UP.  When it does not rain for a while, things dry UP. One could go on and on (and UP and UP), but I’ll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time is UP!  And perhaps I’ve taken UP too much of your time….

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Thou shalt not DWINDLE!

I feel like I’ve been DWINDLING lately.  I have excellent excuses, including the fact that I upgraded to Windows10 on my laptop (while still in Calif) and couldn’t find ANYTHING the next morning ….  Now I’m back on my BIG machine, and I am exceedingly hesitant to get near Windows10 . . . . !!!  But anyway, I feel like I’ve been dwindling.  I’ve dwindled.

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They’re funny words, really, aren’t they. The more you look at them and say them, the funnier they get. Kind of like Twiddle Dum and Twiddly Dee (or whoever those guys are). Like something you do when you’re bored. But no, dwindle and dwindling are dangerous. They are to be avoided! And I apologize for being such a DWINDLER in recent days and weeks.  (That does NOT mean that I guarantee to get back to posting pretty much every day… I’ll give it my best, but some days my best is SO inadequate).

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But let’s take a look at DWINDLE.

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From the Book of Mormon: “The children of men ¼ dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust” (Mormon 9:20).  Dwindle seems to be an indication of trickling away rather than exploding away from light and truth. Here a little, there a little. Slipping and sliding away from safety, away from fellowship, away from covenants. In Helaman 4:23 there is a chilling reminder: “And because of their iniquity the church had begun to dwindle; and they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face.”

To dwindle, it seems, is to diminish or become less. Maybe it also means that eventually there is less and less until little at all remains, or, finally, nothing at all. This could be true of testimony, couldn’t it. We don’t nourish it, we don’t bear it and share it, we don’t feed it, and gradually it dwindles until little or nothing remains. And it may dwindle so slowly and silently, so gradually, that we hardly notice until it’s gone or almost gone.

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There may be ways in which we cause each other to dwindle. That’s not good at all. Sometimes bad weather or bad news can cause our hopes and dreams to dwindle.

Remember when Father Lehi gets desperate about his dwindling sons? He admonishes them with strong yet tender words. Read the whole reference sometime (2 Nephi 1:13 ff), but let me share just a phrase or two: 1 Nephi 1:13‑23 – 13- “O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound….”  14- “Awake! and arise from the dust, and hear the words of a trembling parent….”  16- “And I desire that ye should remember to observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.”  21- “And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;”  22- “… that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.”

Well, maybe I’ve shared more than I intended of this soul cry from a father to his sons, but it seems to illustrate what happens when we dwindle … when we don’t remember. (Isn’t “remember” a powerful, important word!). Remember what the angel said to Nephi when he’s hesitant to cut off Laban’s head? “Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. ¼ It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.” (1 Nephi 4:12‑13)  And there is the sad account in 4th Nephi (vs 38): “And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did wilfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from the beginning, did dwindle.”  Shucks! Dwindling happens too often! I don’t want to dwindle! Here’s one of our clues for avoiding dwindling: The scriptures. Reading, studying, pondering, applying.

I found other clues, other wonderful counsel, in the words of President Gordon B. Hinckley, particularly one of his General Conference messages from October 1995.  “There are those who drift off seeking the enticements of the world, forsaking the cause of the Lord. I see others who think it is all right to lower their standards, perhaps in small ways. In this very process they lose the cutting edge of enthusiasm for this work. For instance, they think the violation of the Sabbath is a thing of unimportance. They neglect their meetings. They become critical. They engage in backbiting. Before long they have drifted from the Church. The Prophet Joseph once declared, “Where doubt is, there faith has no power” (Lectures on Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985, p. 46).

“I invite any who may have so drifted to come back to the strong and solid moorings of the Church. There is a tendency on the part of some to become indifferent….  To my brethren and sisters everywhere, I call upon you to reaffirm your faith…. Each of us is a part of the greatest cause on earth….  I invite every one of you, wherever you may be as members of this church, to stand on your feet and with a song in your heart move forward, living the gospel, loving the Lord, and building the kingdom. Together we shall stay the course and keep the faith, the Almighty being our strength.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov 1995)

In a First Presidency message in the Ensign for October, 1995, President Hinckley wrote the following: “Some time ago I read the newspaper report of the remarks of a prominent journalist. He is quoted as having said, “Certitude is the enemy of religion.” The words attributed to him have stirred within me much reflection. Certitude, which I define as complete and total assurance, is not the enemy of religion. It is of its very essence. Certitude is certainty. It is conviction. It is the power of faith that approaches knowledge — yes, that even becomes knowledge. It evokes enthusiasm, and there is no asset comparable to enthusiasm in overcoming opposition, prejudice, and indifference.  If our people, as individuals, ever lose that certitude, the Church will dwindle as so many others have. I have no fear of that. I am confident that an ever enlarging membership will seek for and find that personal conviction which we call testimony, which comes by the power of the Holy Ghost, and which can weather the storms of adversity. (“Faith: The Essence of True Religion,” Ensign, Oct. 1995)

Did you pick up a lot of ideas in these quotes from President Hinckley which can help in keeping from dwindling? Keep the Sabbath Day holy, avoid the enticements of the world, don’t lower your standards, don’t neglect meetings, don’t “backbite,” come back, reaffirm your faith, move forward, live the gospel, love the Lord, build the kingdom, stay the course, have certitude and conviction, seek personal testimony, and so on. Wonderful counsel from a wonderful counselor!

May we let our light so shine and be valiant in not letting it dwindle, and may we help others re‑light and re‑kindle their lights. Maybe we could have a little thought like “Thou shalt not dwindle!” “No dwindling allowed in this place!”  OK, I’ll stop now. I can tell I’m about to get carried away.  (I know you know that I already DID “get carried away!” … What else is new??)  With love from a frequent dwindler who’s working on recovery!

OBFUSCATORY SCRIVENERY

Several years ago I came across some information about obfuscatory scrivenery – or, so I can understand it: FOGGY WRITING. Enjoy! This may cause you to do some research and come up with your own “scores.” (This will be here later if you’re really busy today).

Amuse me

 

Some years ago, a New York plumber discovered that hydrochloric acid was dandy for cleaning clogged drains.  He sent his suggestion to the National Bureau of Standards. “The efficacy of hydrochloric acid is indisputable,” the Bureau wrote back, “but the ionic residues are incompatible with metallic permanence.”  “Thank you,” replied the plumber. “I thought it was a good idea, too.” FINALLY, someone at the Bureau wrote, “Don’t use hydrochloric acid!  It eats hell out of the pipes!”

“Foggy writing” – letters, memos, reports, and proposals that couch $5 ideas in $500 language – has been estimated to cost American business $ billions a year in wasted time, lost contracts, and alienated customers.  It costs a good many workers their promotions, too.  In a survey, top executives from FORTUNE’s list of 500 companies ranked communication skill as the most important quality for business leaders – ahead of technical, financial, and marketing ability.  “Even a genius will fail if he doesn’t make himself clear,” says Douglas Mueller, director of the Gunning-Meuller Clear Writing Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Meuller travels around the country showing people how to improve their writing.  His course, devised by the late Robert Gunning, has taught thousands of executives, scientists, and engineers how to write more clearly by monitoring their Fog Index. Two things can fog a piece of writing: BIG WORDS, which are usually too abstract to make pictures in the mind, and LONG SENTENCES, which tax the memory.  The Fog Index puts these two factors into a simple formula that tells how many years of schooling are needed to read the sample easily.  The first letter to the plumber, for example, has a Fog Index of 26.  It would read easily for someone with at least a Ph.D. and seven years of postdoctoral study.  The second letter, with a Fog Index of 6, would be a breeze for a sixth grader.

Anyone can calculate his or her own Fog Index.  Choose a sample of at least 100 words.  Figure the average sentence length of words; count clauses separated by colons and semicolons as full sentences.  Count the number of Big Words.  A Big Word is any word of three syllables or more, unless it’s a proper name, a verb that has reached three syllables by adding ed or es (but not ing), or a short-word compound like everything or bookkeeper.  Figure the percentage of Big Words; it’s 100 times the number of Big Words divided by the number of words in the sample.  Add the percentage of Big Words to the average sentence length, multiply by 0.4 and drop everything after the decimal point.  This paragraph has a Fog Index of 8. (You probably thought it would be a lot higher, didn’t you; I did).

At what Fog Index should a writer write?  “A low one,” says Mueller.  The Nation’s largest daily newspaper, the WALL STREET JOURNAL, got that way by lowering its Fog Index to 11.  TIME and NEWSWEEK also average 11.  The NEW YORKER usually comes in under 12.  Technical journals range a lot higher, but most are notoriously hard reading, even for specialists.  Good technical memos, according to a study at Bell Laboratories, average only 14.  “The truth is,” says Mueller, “no matter what Fog Index your readers can tolerate, they prefer to get their information without strain.”  Mueller says he’s never met anyone, in any field, who couldn’t lower his Fog Index to 15.  “Einstein could.  It’s easy.  Just keep your average sentence length under 20, cross out every useless word, and never use a Big Word unless you absolutely need to.”   Remember: The less energy your reader wastes on decoding your language, the more he’ll have left for your brilliant ideas.” (Terry Dunkle)

Following are four writing samples with their Fog Indexes.  Some were written for easy reading.  Others clearly were not.

FROM A BUSINESS LETTER: We might further mention that we would be glad to furnish any one of these whistles on a trial basis, to the extent that if the smaller size was not adequate enough, it could be returned in lieu of the purchase of a larger size, depending upon actual operation and suitability of your requirements for a signal distance and audibility. Fog Index: 28.   Translation: “If your whistle isn’t loud enough, send it back and we’ll give you a bigger one.”  Fog Index: 6

FROM THE SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL NATURE:  The current fashion for environmental impact assessment (ETA) is partly explained by the continuing force of the environmental protection movement in Western countries.  That movement is now under severe pressure from economic recession, and there are signs that impact assessments themselves will play a decreasing role in planning and development.  Certainly, this is the message that emerges from the U.S.A., where the emphasis is switching back to the costs of environmental protection. Fog Index: 17.

OPENING OF GETTYSBURG ADDRESS:  Fourscore and seven years ago our Fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.  We are met on a great battlefield of that war.  We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.  It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. Fog Index: 10.

MATTHEW 6:9-13 (KING JAMES VERSION):  Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Fog Index: 4.

Exclamation

 

Answers to ALL questions!

 

 

 

ANAGRAMS

You take a word (or two of more), re-arrange the letters, and you come up with all kinds of amazing things! Could this be your next hobby??  Maybe . . . .

PRESBYTERIAN:  BEST IN PRAYER
ASTRONOMER:  MOON STARER
DESPERATION:  A ROPE ENDS IT
THE EYES:  THEY SEE
GEORGE BUSH:  HE BUGS GORE
THE MORSE CODE:  HERE COME DOTS

DORMITORY:  DIRTY ROOM
SLOT MACHINES:  CASH LOST IN ME
ANIMOSITY:  IS NO AMITY
ELECTION RESULTS:  LIES – LET’S RECOUNT
SNOOZE ALARMS:  ALAS! NO MORE Z ‘S
A DECIMAL POINT:  I’M A DOT IN PLACE
THE EARTHQUAKES:  THAT QUEER SHAKE
ELEVEN PLUS TWO:  TWELVE PLUS ONE
And now for some which are more complicated:

“The Best Things in Life are Free” “Nail-biting refreshes the feet”

“The End of the World is Nigh” “Down this hole frightened”

“The Meaning of Life”  “The fine game of nil.”

“Soccer Player” “Score, leap, cry!”

“Clint Eastwood” “Old West action!”

“Lower Back Pain” -> “Work incapable!”

“Elvis Aaron Presley” -> “Seen alive? Sorry, pal!”

“Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark” -> “Uncontroversial re-marketed hash!”

“The late John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, the late George Harrison, and Ringo Starr” “In long careers, they all once sang major hits in a rather talented Northern group.” “Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” “A famous German waltz god”

“Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi”  “I’m a poetic star on violin and viola!”

“Giovanni Pergolesi”  “I love opera singing.”

“The Queen’s Birthday Honours List”  “Tony Blair sends this queue to HRH”

“The Great British Weather”  “Harsh, bitter, wet heritage.”

“A McDonald’s Burger”  “Real dog and crumbs!”

“A Wendy Burger” “Beware! Dry gnu!”

“McDonalds Restaurants”  “Uncle Sam’s standard rot.”

“New York Times”  “Monkeys write.”

“Federal Bureau of Investigation”  “If found alive, abuse, interrogate!”

“Christopher Evans”  “He’s a rich TV person.”

“The European Commission”  “Omnipotence is our shame.”

“Swimmer Ian Thorpe”  “Is more mph in water”

“The Acting Profession” “Fine, photogenic stars.”

“Prenuptial agreements” “‘Repugnant!’ Mate replies.”

“Millionaire” “Limo, airline.”

“Career politicians”  “No special criteria.”

“Have a nice day!” “Have a cyanide!” (YIKES!!)

Go figure

 

VICTORIAN SLANG

I came across this piece from MENTAL FLOSS and got quite a kick out of it. It seems that a man named Andrew Forrester published a book (Passing English of the Victorian era, a dictionary of heterodox English, slang and phrase) [that’s quite a title!] under the pseudonym James Redding Ware. He felt that thousands of words and phrases had “drifted away.” He captured many hilarious words and phrases, and “Mental Floss” has NO idea how they EVER fell out of fashion! They propose bringing them back!  They feel we should be using them!  ENJOY! (And good luck if you try using any of them; I like some a lot better than others).

Victorian Slang

AFTERNOONIFIED –A society word meaning “smart.” Forrester demonstrates the usage: “The goods are not ‘afternoonified’ enough for me.”

BAGS O’ MYSTERY – An 1850 term for sausages, “because no man but the maker knows what is in them. … The ‘bag’ refers to the gut which contained the chopped meat.”

BANG UP TO THE ELEPHANT – This phrase originated in London in 1882, and means “perfect, complete, unapproachable.”

BATTY-FANG – Low London phrase meaning “to thrash thoroughly,” possibly from the French battre a fin.

BOW WOW MUTTON – A naval term referring to meat so bad “it might be dog flesh.”

BRICKY – Brave or fearless. “Adroit after the manner of a brick,” Forrester writes, “said even of the other sex, ‘What a bricky girl she is.’”

BUBBLE AROUND – A verbal attack, generally made via the press. Forrester cites The Golden Butterfly: “I will back a first-class British subject for bubbling around against all humanity.”

BUTTER UPON BACON – Extravagance. Too much extravagance. “Are you going to put lace over the feather, isn’t that rather butter upon bacon?”

CAT-LAP – A London society term for tea and coffee “used scornfully by drinkers of beer and strong waters … in club-life is one of the more ignominious names given to champagne by men who prefer stronger liquors.”

CHURCH-BELL – A talkative woman.

CHUCKABOO – A nickname given to a close friend.

COLLIE SHANGLES – Quarrels. A term from Queen Victoria’s journal, More Leavespublished in 1884: “At five minutes to eleven rode off with Beatrice, good Sharp going with us, and having occasional collie shangles (a Scottish word for quarrels or rows, but taken from fights between dogs) with collies when we came near cottages.”

COP A MOUSE – To get a black eye. “Cop in this sense is to catch or suffer,” Forrester writers, “while the colour of the obligation at its worst suggests the colour and size of the innocent animal named.”

DADDLES – A delightful way to refer to your rather boring hands.

DIZZY AGE – A phrase meaning “elderly,” because it “makes the spectator giddy to think of the victim’s years.” The term is usually refers to “a maiden or other woman canvassed by other maiden ladies or others.”

DOING THE BEAR – “Courting that involves hugging.”

DON’T SELL ME A DOG – Popular until 1870, this phrase meant “Don’t lie to me!” Apparently, people who sold dogs back in the day were prone to trying to pass off mutts as purebreds.

DOOR-KNOCKER – A type of beard “formed by the cheeks and chin being shaved leaving a chain of hair under the chin, and upon each side of mouth forming with moustache something like a door-knocker.”

ENTHUZIMUZZY – “Satirical reference to enthusiasm.” Created by Braham the terror, whoever that is.

FIFTEEN PUZZLE – Not the game you might be familiar with, but a term meaning complete and absolute confusion.

FLY RINK – An 1875 term for a polished bald head.

GAS-PIPES – A term for especially tight pants.

GIGGLEMUG – “An habitually smiling face.”

GOT THE MORBS – Use of this 1880 phrase indicated temporary melancholy.

KRUGER-SPOOF – Lying, from 1896.

MAD AS HOPS – Excitable.

MAFFICKING – An excellent word that means getting rowdy in the streets.

MAKE A STUFFED BIRD LAUGH – “Absolutely preposterous.”

MEATER – A street term meaning coward.

MIND THE GREASE – When walking or otherwise getting around, you could ask people to let you pass, please. Or you could ask them to mind the grease, which meant the same thing to Victorians.

MUTTON SHUNTER – This 1883 term for a policeman is so much better than “pig.” (FEI requests that you not use this term on her and thanks you for your courtesy)

NANTY NARKING – A tavern term, popular from 1800 to 1840, that meant great fun.

NOSE BAGGER – Someone who takes a day trip to the beach. He brings his own provisions and doesn’t contribute at all to the resort he’s visiting.

ORF CHUMP – No appetite.

PARISH PICK-AXE – A prominent nose.

PODSNAPPERY – This term, Forrester writers, describes a person with a “wilful determination to ignore the objectionable or inconvenient, at the same time assuming airs of superior virtue and noble resignation.”

POKED UP – Embarrassed.

RAIN NAPPER – An umbrella.

SAUCE-BOX – The mouth.

SHAKE A FLANNIN – Why say you’re going to fight when you could say you’re going to shake a flannin instead?

SHOOT INTO THE BROWN – To fail. According to Forrester, “The phrase takes its rise from rifle practice, where the queer shot misses the black and white target altogether, and shoots into the brown i.e., the earth butt.”

SKILAMALINK – Secret, shady, doubtful.

SUGGESTIONIZE – A legal term from 1889 meaning “to prompt.”

TAKE THE EGG – To win.

UMBLE-CUM-STUMBLE – According to Forrester, this low class phrase means “thoroughly understood.”

WHOOPERUPS – A term meaning “inferior, noisy singers” that could be used liberally today during karaoke sessions.

(DID YOU NOTICE THEY’RE IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE?)

WORDS