From bang-a-bonk to cold turkey - it pays to increase your word power

Never mind the words I’d like to ban (see by blog of 17 June), never mind the words Jacob Rees-Mogg Esq MP has banned (see my blog of 29 July), what about the words I’d like to celebrate – the words I don’t want to hear less of (like ‘like’, like), but the words I want to hear more of – like the unusual and interesting words I am introduced to by my friend Susie Dent on our weekly podcast, Something Rhymes With Purple?

 The podcast comes out every Tuesday and each week, as well as listening to Susie and me chuntering on about words and language (and life), you can improve your vocabulary and increase your word power by discovering a trio of interesting and unusual words with which you may not be familiar.  Some are old, some are new: they are all real and, in my book, they are all remarkable.

If you want to hear Susie and me discussing the words, listen to the relevant podcast.  All the podcasts are online and available via Acast or Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever it is that find your favourite podcasts.  This week’s podcast is right here:

 And right here are the words Susie has given me to date (listed in podcast order), kindly collated by Paul Smith, our ace producer at Somethin’Else. 

 Apr 2, 2019 - Bang-a-bonk

Bang-a-bonk: old dialect for sitting lazily on a river bank.

 Bloviator: a braggot or a boaster.

 Boffola: an uproariously funny joke.

 Apr 9, 2019 - Scurryfunge

 Scurryfunge: to rush around tidying before a visitor arrives.

Skidaddle: to depart quickly or hurriedly.

Boondoggle: an entirely futile or unnecessary undertaking

 Apr 16, 2019 - Lalochezia

 Lalochezia: the relief of tension in your body through swearing.

 Tmesis: cutting one word up and putting another in the middle. e.g. 'abso-f***ing-lutely'

 Crumpsy and Carnaptious : grumpy and irritable.

 Apr 23, 2019 - Gargalesis

 Hirple: to limp and to walk with difficulty.

 Sarcophagus: a limestone tomb that would gradually decompose the body buried within it.

 Pandiculating: stretching and yawning at the same time.

 Apr 30, 2019 - Crambazzled

 Crambazzled: looking prematurely aged or rough from drinking.

 Humdudgeon: an imaginary illness that may prevent you from getting out of bed or through the office door.

 Panic: dating back to the deity Pan who hid in the woods and made mysterious noises to frighten travellers as they passed by.

 May 7, 2019 - Ugsome

 Ugsome: a Viking word meaning to fear or dread something.

 Apricity: the warmth of the sun on a winter's day.

 Forswunk: exhausted from too much work.

 May 14, 2019 - Matutolypea

 Gigglemug: someone who is permanently cheerful.

 Coulrophobia: a fear of clowns.

 Maverick: named after Samuel Augustus Maverick, who left his herd of cattle un-branded.

 May 21, 2019 - Tartle

 Confelicity: finding pleasure in someone else’s happiness (the opposite of schadenfreude)

 Pana po'o: Hawaiian word meaning to scratch your head while trying to remember something

Groaking: to look enviously at someone else’s food in the hope they might share it with you.

 May 28, 2019 - Eggcorns

 Petrichor: the beautiful smell that occurs when rain falls on dry soil.

 Zarf: the holder for a coffee cup without a handle (could be the cardboard sleeve).

 Spuddle: to work feebly and ineffectively because you’re either daydreaming or haven’t woken up properly.

 Jun 4, 2019 - Battology

 Bumbershoot: a Victorian word for an umbrella.

 Chatoyant: of iridescent shimmering lustre, like a cat’s eye in the dark.

 Battology: needless and tiresome repetition in speaking and writing.

 Jun 11, 2019 - Fobly-Mobly

 Flinterkin: from Orkney meaning a dry cow pat.

 Glimmer-gowk: an owl in Gloucestershire and Lincolnshire. 

 Fobly-mobly: 18th Century term meaning neither well nor unwell. A bit meh.

 Jun 18, 2019 - Jirble

 Marigold: a million pounds.

 Coverslut: an item of clothing worn over another in order to cover a stain.

 Jirble: to spill a liquid through unsteady hands.

 Jul 2, 2019 - Fartcatcher

 Bags of mystery: an old term for sausages

 Trumperiness: something that is showy and flashy but ultimately utterly worthless

Clusterfuck: a deliberately mishandled situation or undertaking

 Jul 9, 2019 - Tosspot

 Shotclog: the pub companion who you only put up with because they’re buying the next round.

Tosspot: drinkers who tossed back their bottle of beer

Lick-spigot: the friend who always turns up whenever they hear a cork popping.

 Jul 16, 2019 - Twazzy

 Sockdolager: the decisive winning point in an argument or debate.

 Recumbentibus: a knockout punch.

 Twazziness: a centuries-old word for a state of feeling bad-tempered, peevish and snappy.

 Jul 23, 2019 - Dogsbody

Swansong: the term originates from the ancient belief that swans were born mute (not true) and they remain mute all their lives until the moment of their death when they sing a beautiful mournful song.

 Dogsbody: this originally meant peas boiled in cloth aboard a ship. Sailors joked that they were about to eat a dog’s body.

 Cold Turkey: the phrase originates from the belief that coming off something caused you to have goose bumps or turkey flesh.

Gyles Brandreth