back to article Nippy, palaver and cockwomble: Greatest words in English?

It was decidedly nippy yesterday morning, and in remarking the fact to my pandiculating and yawning daughter, I was struck by the sheer magnificence of the word nippy when used to describe a crisp autumnal chill in the air. Given the biting cold, it was a right bloody palaver to scrape the frost off the van, and there's …

  1. msknight

    Obstropolous gets good usage where I currently work. Whether it is applied, to users, managers or other entities, I couldn't possibly comment.

    1. Message From A Self-Destructing Turnip


      The actions of an Obstropolyp?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think the correct word is obstreperous

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think the correct word is obstreperous

        No, that's a different word, and you perhaps are being blinkered by the narrow scope of dictionaries. Obstropolous is a most marvellous new word that should be added to the OED forthwith.

        However, this fine invention does not address the tragic shortage of good quality obscenities in English. The primary colours of obscenity are about seven core words, then extended with modifiers and combinations. The number one position is held by "fuck" a fine obscenity, and a short blunt word with a lovely mouth feel to it, even onomatopoeic when used as an adjective, but you very quickly run out of swear words after that. As any Two Pint Screamer demonstrates after they've had a few on Saturday night:

        "Yer fuckin fook-headed fooker, yer spilt me fooking drink, fook yer, yer f-ffucking fookwit fooker!"

        So, commentards, could we have some new swear words. Ideally not related to the existing rather small collection.

        1. Allan George Dyer

          Bovine excrement! There are plenty of excellent English obscenities, but a lack of erudite invective in teeming hostelries.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. hatti

      Re: Ointment

      Where can I get one of these Gorm thingys?

      1. tony2heads


        Betake yourself to where the lummoxes aggroup.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Hatti

          I quite like 'gormopath' as a dismissive term.

  3. Chris Miller

    Nippily [0]

    I've got a 1933 edition of the OED. In it, words are sometimes marked [1], indicating that there was (at the time of compilation) only a single occurrence of their use in English. A few words are marked [0], meaning that no instance could be found of the word being used, but it had been included in earlier dictionaries. An example of such a [0] word was nippily; so up to about 1930, it had (so far as the OED could ascertain) never been used in English texts. Today it's common parlance, particularly by motoring correspondents describing a car's handling. English has many such words, lying dormant, waiting for their turn to shine.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Nippily [0]

      "English has many such words, lying dormant, waiting for their turn to shine."

      ,,,and are often in use in other dialects of English. American "english" still uses many quaint old words which we have since moved on from. I heard wainscotting the other day, a word I suspect has not been used in England for many a year but certainly has a bit more gravitas than skirting board!

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Nippily [0]

        I heard wainscotting the other day, a word I suspect has not been used in England for many a year

        But wainscoting1 figures so prominently in the Monty Python sheep sketch! Admittedly that was some 45 years back, so I suppose that qualifies as "many a year". Still, kids these days &c.

        Also, of course, the word "wainscoting" is invaluable in discussions of philosophical realism, as it figures in one of the most commonly used examples.

        1The single-T spelling appears to be preferred by dictionary authors. Google Ngram Viewer suggests it's been the more common one since about 1825.

    2. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Nippily [0]

      Nippily gets used quite often here in Australia.

      Mostly used to describe a sudden weather change which causes the front of tight-fitting womens shirts to garner a lot more attention than normal.

  4. stucs201

    Best cockwomble definition I've seen

    "Someone who aspires to be intelegent enough to be a fuckwit"

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Best cockwomble definition I've seen

      Surely it's just a boy womble, the female version being a henwomble.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Best cockwomble definition I've seen

        ....or a cuntwomble......depending on which derivation of the masculine version you went for.

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: Best cockwomble definition I've seen

          > "cuntwomble"

          But that would be a deliciously, delightful, enticing, exciting womble!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Best cockwomble definition I've seen

            But that would be a deliciously, delightful, enticing, exciting womble!

            Your fantasies are obviously very different to mine.

    2. Measurer

      Re: Best cockwomble definition I've seen

      Everyone knows that the opposite of a womble is a flump, therefore...


  5. wolfetone Silver badge

    I know it's not a word, more of a phrase, but "fuckity bye" is probably my favourite at the moment.

    God bless you Malcolm Tucker.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I rather like clusterfuck - as sometimes you need a bit of extra emphasis when describing a totally messed up situation. For example, I can find no other way to describe the ongoing disaster that is the Eurozone - where the predicted future problelms have now come to pass, but the political will to centralise that was supposed to solve them has gone away.

      Even better, when in fear of filters, or while being polite, you get to use the excellent bowdlerisation: Fustercluck.

      Which still manages to convey confusion, but with the added suggestion of headless chickens.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        I think a phrase exists for the Eurozone

        "From bean to cup, you fuck up"

  6. Gordon 10

    Our American cousins on occasion come up with some classics. My favourite is Asshat.

  7. Blank-Reg

    Rumpus has been a favourite of mine. As in causing a rumpus, or scene.

    I applaud this article and champion the full use of the English language lexicon. Too often, I am ridiculed for usage of fine, if little used, word even though the usage is correct. What is so wrong in using our beautiful language to its full extent.

    Though, privately, I would love to see the return of the Aesc; æ. For use in words such as Dæmons, Archæology, Mediæval, fæces and so on.

    1. dogged

      Surely "rumpus" is - like "tot" - only used by provincial newspaper headline writers?

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      I've heard rumpus used in conjunction with room... a room where you do the wild thing, the nasty, the horizontal bop, make the beast with two backs, get your freak on, score and find a happy ending.

      Let's have a pint!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        On which subject, I rather like the sound of the word (phrase?) rumpy-pumpy.

        You can roll the initial R, and then it sort of bounces along. So does one retire to ones rumpus room in order romp and generally engage in rumpy-pumpy?

        1. DiViDeD

          Ye Olde Rumpus Room

          Pretty much every Australian house is advertised as having a rumpus room. Now I know why they're so popular!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ye Olde Rumpus Room

            Pretty much every Australian house is advertised as having a rumpus room. Now I know why they're so popular!

            I live in Australia and yes I do have a rumpus room in my house. Its main purpose is as a play-room for the kids, and that is the usual meaning down under. However I do confess that the missus and I have indeed been known to partake in some intimate shenanigans in that room (after the kids were safely in bed asleep, of course).

        2. John Presland


      2. Captain Hogwash

        So that's what Ned Flanders was talking about. Thanks for clearing it up.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Courtesy of Mr Turner

    "Brook your ire Sir" is a great alternative to "calm down, calm down".

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Courtesy of Mr Turner

      Doesn't sound as funny in a Scouse accent though.

  9. AndrewInIreland


    perroflauta is just brilliant. I used it correctly in Malaga last August, much to the delight of my Spanish friends.

    1. dogged

      Re: Spanish...

      So it's crusty as in "trustafarian" or "chugger", not crusty as in "bread", then.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Nippy is good...

    ...but nipcheese is better. A nickname for a ship’s purser.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you have to talk about Blaine...

    Marcus Brigstocke summed up his New York stunt where he spent a week underwater as "Amphibious gitwizard doesn't drown."

    1. nsld

      Re: If you have to talk about Blaine...

      And not forgetting the one he did at Tower Bridge with the epithet "twatdangle"

  12. Your alien overlord - fear me

    This sense of "conversation" has pretty well been lost, and now we're left with palaver meaning a complete carry-on.

    Never had a conversation with a Portugese person then? Palaver sums it up pretty well. (And yes, there's a lot of them where I live)

  13. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Obligatory Simpsons reference

    What, no mention of "cromulent", "embiggen" or "kwijybo" yet?

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory Simpsons reference

      gotta love that bald north american ape... kwijybo wasn't that a triple word score?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory Simpsons reference

      ...or fantastical as in "flying truss"....or podule!!

  14. chivo243 Silver badge

    Reused word

    I really like the re-appropriation of the word "tool"

  15. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    On a topical note I'm quite fond of Autumnal, not a rare or seldom heard word, but it's one of those words that sounds as pleasing as the season it describes.

    I also like the pure illogicality of English. When the prefix 'in' usually means 'not', why does flammable mean the same as inflammable? Any why is discontent harboured in a hotbed, when a hot bed usually gives me quite the reverse sensation?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Any why is discontent harboured in a hotbed"

      That one's easy. Hotbed is a gardening term. It describes an arrangement for enabling things to grow more vigorously than they might do otherwise. Some managements are quite good at achieving this with discontent.

    2. Alfie

      RE: Autumnal

      I also like the word autumnal, but have taken to using the word autumny instead, mostly to wind up my english teaching better half. Inspired by Baldrick's interpretation of irony; "Like goldy and silvery, only made of iron."

      Actually the whole Blackadder the Third episode Ink and Incapability is a joy.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    While discussing Nippy, might I suggest Mammilate

    ie. possessing nipples

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: While discussing Nippy, might I suggest Mammilate

      IT is surely better to mammilate than never.

  17. TheProf


    Thank you for that. I've often wondered what to call those 'gentlemen', usually wearing grey sporting trousers, who seems to be looking for spare change in their crotch region.

    And people wonder why I'm reluctant to shake hands.

  18. astrax

    I like the word...

    ...obfuscate, because it does exactly what it says on the tin.

  19. Peter Prof Fox

    New words

    Discomodicated [confused]

    Socmed salute [phones held up in a crowd watching something]

    Durbrain [of people who can't believe that 'Gullible' never appears in a dictionary] (There are more than you think!)

    Perculious [oddity that invites investigation]

  20. Measurer

    Here's one

    Flaphammock was invented by a friend of mine years ago, upon me finding a pair of ladies undies in the corner of his lounge.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd
      Thumb Up

      Flaphammock wins my vote!


      I'm stealing ^W borrowing that one.

      1. Measurer

        Re: Flaphammock wins my vote!

        and of course Flangebasket, or Gunt.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Because it's nice to say and it's not actually a made-up word even though it sounds like one.

  22. Quortney Fortensplibe

    Or alternatively...

    Just pick your favourites out from here:

    I was quite proud of one I coined a while back, when I had a manager at work who somehow managed to irritate the hell out of everybody, despite never saying anything untoward or unfair. I described him as "Offensively Inoffensive"

  23. stucs201

    More words



    1. g e

      Re: More words

      Gesticulation / Gesticulate

      1. Grumpy Developer

        Re: More words

        Testiculate - to talk bollocks whilst flailing one's arms.

    2. Measurer

      Re: More words

      Let me guess..

      Defenestration = Army lumberjacks?

      Transmogrification = Making a cat happier through dubious means?

  24. Commswonk

    As nobody has mentioned this...

    I will. See

  25. Quortney Fortensplibe

    More from him...

    I doubt any insult in the English language tops Cockwomble. Pure genius! Nob Jockey has a similar ring to it. Though probably a bit too homophobic for these PC times.

    One understated and innocuous enough sounding phrase in English I really like is one which manages to express "What a hard day's work that was. It looked for a while like we were never going to get it finished. But we stuck at it and saw it through to the end. And now that we have done so, I think we all deserve a pint".

    Namely: "Job's a good 'un!"

    [Needs to be said in a broad Lancashire or Yorkshire accent, though]

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: More from him...

      If you head further south to Somerset and beyond I believe they pronounce it "Proper Job!"

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. A K Stiles

          Re: More from him...

          Oh yes it's a tasty brew.

          And whilst it may not be the greatest beer in the world, I also like their 'Tribute'

        2. Vic

          Re: More from him...

          Indeed, it's a great beer too!

          They've gor a new one called Big Job. A fair bit hoppier, and quite a bit stronger to boot.

          I'm currently enjoying one :-)


    2. Elmer Phud

      Re: More from him...

      Namely: "Job's a good 'un!"

      That's a bit long winded.

      Sorted/Sortid will do me (clapping of hands together is optional)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  26. smartypants


    So simple and everyday, yet strangely funny once you listen to yourself saying it a few times. That initial rasp, the tiny explosive p, and the long sultry oo finished off with a creamy n.

    (I'm strangely aroused now. Must get back to work)

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Spoon

      Lots of words are like that. So Rowan Atkinson can do wonders with the single syllable that is "Bob".

      Our family used to foster a girl with autism, and she liked to use words just for the sound of them. It's something lots of children do, but she did it with more dedication.

      The absolute relish with which she pronounced the final "t" in toast was a thing to behold. She also loved to draw out over-enunciate "basically" and "absolutely" (back to the lovely oooh sound there).

      And then the aggressive "K" sound in buckets and baskets - so she had a little speech in the same way Dustin Hoffman did in Rain Man with "whose on first" - except in her case it wasn't when she was nervous, but when angry or upset.

      1. Mystic Megabyte

        Re: Spoon

        A friend's three year old had picked up on, "Have you got your rucksack?". When it became time to go to the beach she said, "Let's ruck off!" :)

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Spoon

  27. hoss183


    I've always assumed that 'Cockwomble' had some reference to Cottaging, since the said wombles spent most of their time in the bushes of Wimbledon common, picking up whatever they could find. A cockwomble then would concentrate on other items than rubbish...

    1. Flenser
      Thumb Up

      Re: cockwomble


      I was about to post the same but was thwarted by a password reset palaver.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My fave

    possibly of Merkin, army, origin:


    1. Mark 85

      Re: My fave

      I believe it comes from there... and worst job to have in the middle of a clusterfuck is "pivot man".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My fave

        Yes, that is from Army slang. Somewhat akin to Pivot Man in a Clusterf@ck is Your Turn In The Barrel whose origin is British Navy and both have a similar meaning.

  29. PatientOne


    Practicable (that which can be done)

    Fibrillation (uncontrolled twitching of muscles - confuses people who think this (just) means a heart attack)

    Mendacity (basically, lying)

    Mellifuous (soothing sound)

    There's more, but I really need to get back into checking 'word of the day' for those. The above are ones I had to explain recently in conversation.

    1. dajames


      Mellifuous (soothing sound)

      Do you mean "mellifluous" (with another 'l') which actually means "flowing like honey" -- but what could be more soothing than that, sweet and unctuous as it is?

      "Unctuous" is another good word. It is generally used to mean "greasy", but it really means "ointment-like" (something that can be used to anoint).

  30. phuzz Silver badge


    I'm quite fond of the insult "They're a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic", meaning that the person in question is a bit barmy.

    However the best part is taking the basic structure of "A couple of X short of Y" and moving to a different scenario, for example:

    "A couple of CAT5 short of a network"

    "A Couple of disks short of a RAID"

    "A couple of bits short of a byte"

    (feel free to add your own.)

    I like the fact that it's usually "a couple" short. Not one, not lots, but a couple.

    1. Anomalous Cowturd

      Re: Insults

      Once worked on a site that had a labourer dubbed "two sticks" short of a bundle.

      Lovely bloke, but thick as pig-shit.

      I can't even remember his real name, but his nickname always tickled me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Insults

        This one is job and class specific as in:

        "A few slices short of a cucumber sandwich"

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Insults

      Also "X is completely Dagenham" (as in, a couple of stops past Barking).

    3. Roger Varley

      Re: Insults

      I remember that one as - "a couple of stops short of Dagenham".

    4. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: Insults

      The best mental image that I heard was in Australia where they say, " He's got Kangaroos in his top paddock".

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How timeous

    I was thinking of this just yesterday and noticed a pattern that Lester has too; how many of his favourite words contain the letter u in an uh or ur sound. Is u intrinsically funny (there it goes again...) or enjoyable where other vowels aren't?

  32. BenBell


    ..has just become my new favourite word. How have I not heard this before?

  33. Roger Kynaston

    toing the line

    Being of a yottie (I have always liked the reverse snobbery of that word btw) persuasion I am always fascinated by how much of our vocabulary has a seafaring origin - Noting that palaver was imported by jolly jack tars from Portugal - presumably after imbibing quantities of the fortified wine from Portugal's second city.

  34. Santa from Exeter


    No, I'm not describing Lester, merely offering the utterance up for public perusal

  35. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge


    Which does sound like a village in Dorset

    I also rather like Terry Pratchett's use of the word "preventative" for a condom. So much better than "preservative" (which I still don't get)

    1. Naughtyhorse

      Re: Wainscotting

      On the subject of pratchett....

      Known as he was for borrowing interesting words from maps and such, may I present "The Dictionary of Eye-Watering Words"

      giving us Gaskin, Figgin, Welchett and Moules.

      almost certainly real words for something, but I am but a knowless man...

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Wainscotting

      Seem to recall they were called "galoshes" in Russia when I visited many years ago, which I thought was a good name in so many ways

    3. Allan George Dyer

      Re: Wainscotting

      "preservative" because they were used to keep safe from STDs, particularly syphilis.

  36. tony2heads

    Of nelogisms


    It is so useful in everyday life

    1. stucs201

      Re: Of nelogisms

      But not as good as it's less polite equivalent which was mentioned earlier: clusterfuck.

  37. BlartVersenwaldIII

    Cockwomble is naturally near impossible to top, but here's some of my favourite loquacious terms for your delectation:
















    Such things are always best in combinations though. For instance, one might refer to Satya Nadella as a circumlocutively supercilious and unprincipled cockwomble with an obstreperous disregard for philosophical incongruity.

  38. Tony S

    My favourite word:


    As in "Get out of that feculent pit you lazy ..."

  39. Richard 126

    My personal favourites

    Alexed (FUBAR)

    e.g. The job is well and truly Alexed.

    Merriman metal (metal of unknown quality, inappropriate for the job on hand)

    e.g. Having machined one end of this bit of Merriman metal I find the other end is unmachineable.

    Origin North Derbyshire, usage, occasionally heard in Rotherham, Sheffield area of the UK, not known to be used elsewhere.

  40. Sir Runcible Spoon


    First 'favourite' word to spring to mind was


    but the way it should be said is important too..say the first part quickly and then exend the oo into a playful howl and then repeat quickly.

    And since I live near Essex there is the ubiquitous "Fackmeeeeeee!"

  41. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: It's the weekend...

      Or perhaps "Craptacular"

  42. Marcus Fil

    From Aunty Beeb

    ..or at least I first heard it on BBC premises:


    describing the unidentifiable warm liquid dispensed from the hot drinks machines where selecting tea or coffee made little difference to what was served.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: From Aunty Beeb

      Maybe that's where Douglas Adams got his "almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea" from?

    2. Measurer

      Re: From Aunty Beeb

      Would Uniquench be better?

      Anyway although its another compound word, 'FLANGEBASKET'!

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course, the best... to call your boss a "berk" (or "burk"). Pretty innocent unless you know it is Cockney rhyming slang - "Berkeley Hunt..." . Another good Cockney slang thing is "aris" == "arse". Aristole == bottle; bottle & glass == arse.

    1. Flenser

      Re: Of course, the best...

      Berk has been my insult of choice for many years now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Of course, the best...

        ...or the variation on a theme...Twunt. A portmanteau of twat and cunt; but missed by most swear filters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Of course, the best...

          "Twat" here in Pompey just means an idiot - vintage from the 70's from what I can recall. It didn't go down too well when I was in Montreal during an IT summit once though... I had to explain to my BIG boss what a twat was...

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Of course, the best...

      I still rate septic for Americans, as it really sums up our end of the "special relationship".

      "Septic tank"=...

  44. Zen 1


    A wonderful but neglected word, albeit simply an archaic way of saying perhaps.

  45. Paul Smith


    My personal favourite is bollard. It just sounds so... right.

  46. chivo243 Silver badge

    One last one

    One from the king "flibberty jib"

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That is all.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Altenatives to cockwomble:




    ...there's loads of them; but I think you really need a live exchange and beer to produce decent new ones.

  49. circusmole

    I quite like...

    Toe-rag - a completely useless and ignorant b'stard.

    From my days as a assembly language coder:

    No-Op - as in the computer instruction common to most architectures (NOP - no operation), meaning a person who has no discernible purpose or function in an organisation, or indeed in life, and never does anything detectable, good, bad or indifferent. Oh, except draw a salary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I quite like...

      Toe rag....toe rags were an actual thing...they were rags wrapped around the feet and toes in lieu of socks, so you might want to recalibrate your definition a little, as they were definitely useful; but not something you'd necessarily want to be close to. They were used by vagrants and other people who couldn't afford socks and were eventually associated with them:

      If you're up for a thoroughly depressing read; George Orwell's Down and out in Paris and London contains a description of toe rags in use...they were apparently invaluable at the time because standard practice for vagrants was to keep them moving; and without toe rags, you'd blister up; would be unable to keep moving as fast as the NIMBYs would like; and would then be arrested.

      Just thought I'd bore everyone with that.

  50. Frumious Bandersnatch

    the "galactically-talented" mr. Blaine?

    You mean that he can produce milk? Who'd want to pay to see that?

    (ah, I get it... he's a tit)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did I miss it...

    Or has nobody mention "clunge" yet?

    Also, "intertwangled" (as espoused by Eddie Mair on PM recently) is currently one of my favourite words.

  52. Frumious Bandersnatch


    I find that a dash of "Jeeves" adds a lot of depth of flavour to most meat dishes. (hint: basic Cockney rhyming slang construction).

  53. Frumious Bandersnatch

    "obstreperous" reminds me

    of the time I described my niece and nephew as being very "rambunctious" to their grandparents. To my surprise, they'd never heard of the word and thought I was making it up.

  54. Tufty Squirrel


    is a favourite of mine

  55. Frumious Bandersnatch

    big words not always better

    I've yet to meet a woman who responded favourably to my complimenting them on how pulchritudinous they are. Or toothsome, for that matter.

    Since I don't want to keep making single posts as I remember more words: segue (completely baffled me that it was actually pronounced "segway"). Also syzygy and synecdoche (another weird pronunciation). Also "weird" since it "proves" the "i" before "e" (except after "c") rule.

    "Dolt" is a bit old-fangled, but good.You can also get away with calling people "obdurate" most of the time since it's a bit gnomic for most, while for others in the know it can become a bit of a shibboleth. Speaking of gnomey-things, digital watches and, later, mobile phones have completely replaced gnomons, except maybe when calculating squares. It's funny how some Hiberno-English phrases like eejit, shite and gobshite (and the Cork phrase "langer") can be used when the English words would be unacceptable. I never got how describing some people as "muppets" got to be so offensive, though.

    If someone asks me something like "did I hear the front door?" or similar, I'm always tempted to explain Joyce's "ineluctable modality of the *aural" to them.

    Also, of course, numberwang, scorchio! and Chris Waddle.

    1. disgruntled yank

      Re: big words not always better

      sad to say, Ulysses is not one of the books lying about the office, but wasn't it "of the visual"? (Namely "diaphane and adiaphane"?)

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch

        Re: big words not always better

        but wasn't it "of the visual"?

        I think so. That's why I put a * in front of "aural" (to point out my misquote/mistake). Works with all the senses.

        (Actually, just checked and it's "visible", so I should really have said "audible")

  56. Someone_Somewhere


    Adj.: unstable

    Whence, I dare postulate, derives the word 'wonky.'

  57. Someone_Somewhere


    n.; an object put to use as a tool with which to poke, pack or otherwise push down something into a container. Usually takes the form of a match-stick, cocktail-stick, tooth-pick or similar but need not be limited to such either in form or dimensions. Synonyms: pointy-stick, pokey-stick, proddy-stick.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Proggler

      I thought that was a dibber, or is that just for gardening?

      1. Someone_Somewhere

        Re: Proggler

        Are you thinking of a sausage inna bun spit?

  58. Amorous Cowherder

    Nothing beats the mighty "bellend" as the all time greatest insult!

    He he!

    1. Fraggle850

      Re: Nothing beats the mighty "bellend" as the all time greatest insult!

      Bell End

  59. Mystic Megabyte

    My turn, top tip:

    To start with I recommend reading "The poor mouth" by Flan O'Brien. It's very funny. Being written in the Gaelic you have to refer to the footnotes for various translations. In the book the children have to speak English but they only know how to say their name. When asked they all say, "James O'Donnell, Sor". What the teacher does not know is that Sor is "louse" in Gaelic. I have used this "mispronunciation" when dealing with obnoxious officials.

    Also why can you be disgruntled but not overgruntled?'Brien

    1. disgruntled yank

      Re: My turn, top tip:

      Isn't it the man with the big stick who says "Yer name is Jams O'Donnell?"

    2. Quortney Fortensplibe

      Re: My turn, top tip:


  60. TeeCee Gold badge

    Ah well, I know what I'm doing for the next few minutes. Reading Roger's Profanisaurus until I can't see through the tears and everyone within earshot thinks I've gone stark, staring bonkers......again......

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    As in, does it perform as well as it needs to. Looks like a proper word, it's meaning is self evident , but it does not exist in the dictionary.

  62. Identity


    Here in the US of A, palaver still means talk — a confab, if you will. (A typically American diminution of confabulation.) It is usually used about trying to reach agreement or sometimes as empty talk.

  63. dajames


    Gobwarbler (n) One who seems to take delight in the sound of his or her own voice.

  64. Measurer

    It's not very nice, but

    I can't claim credit for this one, that honour lies with a certain landlord of westcountry pubs I know (and rugby player), but I cannot but bow to the incredible talent which invented...


    To describe those ladies, who for whatever reason, have blurred the physical boundary between their tummies and what lies beneath, into one amorphous blob.

    The brevity and yet extreme adjectivity(?) of this four letter word has left many a seasoned drinker, rugby player, bon viveur etc. stunned by its elegance. Hats off to you Mr G.

    Was gonna call my band 'bollard' years ago. Nice word.

  65. WereWoof

    Old but good.

    One word I only heard once (used by maternal grandmother to describe a girl she knew) and saw in print a few times that I took a shine to is "Flibbertigibbet", It just rolls off the tongue marvellously!

  66. Martin Budden Silver badge


    I just like the sound of it, that's all.

  67. MrDamage Silver badge


    A nice word to use towards the type of people Viz readers would recognise as a Fat Slag.

    Twatwrangler: Alternate name for the Speaker in parliament

  68. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Book tip: The Meaning of Liff, by John Lloyd & Douglas Adams

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