Weird Words: Street Slang

The parlance of young people these days may just as well be a foreign language as far as adults are concerned. Or maybe not. Here’s a quick translation quiz for you.

So, I was Hundo P my bae was chirpsing with the bossman. So I threw a shade and told her he weren’t boujee. Turns out she was wavey so I curved her. There’s other choong gyaldem out there ready to link with a dench rudeboi.


Hundo P: certain – 100%

Bae: romantic partner

Chirpsing: flirting

Bossman: shop owner or assistant

Throw a shade: give a dirty look

Boujee: rich or acting wealthy

Wavey: high

Curve: to reject someone romantically

Choong: attractive

Gyaldem: girls

Link: meet up with

Dench: good/attractive

Rudeboi: originally Jamaican youth into ska music, now associated with gangsta rap

So, how did you do? Excellent! Time to start peppering your chat at the coffee machine with them – although by the time you do, they’ve probably changed all over again, innit?

What are some of your favourite urban words or phrases? Be good to hear from you in comments.

Weirdly Useful Regency Words and Phrases for Describing How You Probably Feel About Brexit.

(For a lark, see how much of the following passage you can decipher before looking up the translations)

You could be forgiven this morning for feeling done to a cow’s thumb. The government is certainly in the suds over Brexit, and parliament keeps throwing a rub. It isn’t that we’ve been brought to Point Non Point: there are many options, but each one is derided as fustian nonsense by opposing gnashnabs. What with foozlers, cockalorums, hornswogglers and snollygosters, it’s hard not to be jargogled. Perhaps the only solution is to get bosky and forget, because if you haven’t got the morbs already, it’s only a matter of time.


Done to a cow’s thumb – fed up

In the suds – in trouble

Throwing a rub – spoiling plans

Point Non Point – a situation with no options

Fustian nonsense – rubbish

Gnashgabs – complainers

Foozler- a bungler

Cockalorum – a small man with big ego

Hornswoggler – a cheat

Snollygoster – someone with intelligence but no principles

Jargogled – confused

Bosky – drunk

Get the morbs – feel depressed

P.S. A fun game for all the family is to decide which MP best suits the adjectives given above, but if your family is as divided on Brexit as Parliament is, please make sure you have a first aid kit to hand…

Weird Words from the Tyke County

A gloomily gothic spirit runs deep in the moorland hills of Yorkshire, and in the veins of its natives too, which might explain why the county’s dialect has an uncommonly wide vocabulary for bad weather – from the damp and dreary to the wild and stormy.

Let us imagine you draw back your curtains on a misty morning: how might you describe it? Probably with, “Ooh, it’s rather misty.” However, if you were a dyed in the wool Tyke, you might be more likely to remark, “By ‘eck, it’s dowly out there.” Alternatively, if the mist is not as much a feature as the brooding sky, you might observe, “Nah then, it’s a bit mokythis morning,” meaning cloudy and overcast. A further possibility could be, “Eh up, get thi brolly, it’s mizzling,” which refers to a mixture of mist and drizzle.

A stormy onslaught finds Yorkshire natives turning to yet more strange words. Wuthering, for example, a great favourite of mine, refers to a blustery wind. And if the wind is accompanied by rain, it’s clashy; while if the rain is heavy, someone is like to remark “It’s siling down.” A particularly odd phrase that refers to the possibility of rain is, “It’s looking a bit black o’er Bill’s mother’s.”

“And what of snow?” I guess you’re wondering. A snow storm goes by the compound noun of snow-stoor. And if it’s very cold, indeed frozzing, you might find shogglings hanging from eaves and branches and you may need to watch your footing because it will be slapeunderfoot. The cold of winter might force you to complain you are cold, but a Tyke would expect you to describe your discomfort as being starved or nithered, and would doubtless dismiss your mithering with the insulting suggestion you are nesh.

A dowly morning

Weird Scottish Words

For your delectation and delight today, I have a couple of weird words from north of the border. I expect that like myself, many of you can only listen in gawping amazement at the exuberant gloominess of many Scottish words. They hold a drama all of their own. So…
Withershins or widdershins. This is an adverb and describes things moving in a contrary direction to the course of the sun, so by association can be applied to anything moving the wrong or unnatural way. It could be applied to many current governments, or civilization in general. Its antonym is deasil, which is of course much more difficult to use.
Wanchancy is an adjective meaning unlucky, dangerous or uncanny. Again, lots of opportunities to use it: as the Scottish character Private Frazer in Dad’s Army was fond of reminding us, “We’re all doomed!” He could have easily have said, “Aye, it’s wanchancy times we’re living in.”

Fashion Week in Edinburgh circa 1700s.

More Weird Words

Apricity – from the Latin apricus (sunny) In use 1690. Now obsolete.

Given the terribly unseasonal weather we’re having this February, there are many opportunities to employ the word apricity, a noun that means the warmth of the sun in winter. Indeed, given the exceptional heat we’re experiencing, many foolish creatures are taking the chance to apricate, with the result they are losing the beauty of their normally pallid complexions.

So, how would you use apricity?

See below my tippet (tiger/whippet cross) apricating.

Weirdly Wonderful Words


Words vary in their popularity and longevity: some blossom and remain in full bloom for centuries, while others, more delicate, quickly fade and die. In this series I’ll be drawing attention to words that are not in common usage, but certainly deserve resurrecting. The challenge, should you accept it, is to see if you can drop the word into a conversation.


Crepuscular. This word is a great favourite of mine, but seems to have waned in popularity. The main stress is on the p and it means of, or pertaining to twilight. The sharpness of the c and the hiss of the s are suggestive of something vicious lurking in the shadows.


Gibus. A gibus is a French opera hat. It is astonishing we have survived without this word over the past century. I can only assume the more mundane opera hat is being used instead.


Tohu bohu. This comes from the Hebrew thohu-wah-bhohu and means emptiness and desolation. There may be many opportunities to use this word in the United Kingdom after March 29th.

If you manage to casually drop any of the above words into a conversation please let me know along with the sentence you used it in.