Sunday, 18 September 2016
I think I may be a Gongoozler, or maybe even a Mumpsimus
I am definitely going to have to try and find a way to get each and every one of these "lost expressions" - as investigated by BBC Radio 4's literature programme Word of Mouth - into casual conversation this week.
1. Owl Jacket
Taken from the Italian ‘Giacca civetta', which refers to a jacket left on the back of a chair at work, so it looks like you are in the office working, rather than skiving at Costa.
An Old English word meaning to roll up your socks, stockings, leggings or jeggings, before putting them on.
3. Leper juice
An old medical term that refers to the pus found in the wounds of the afflicted. Thankfully it fell out of use due to its general horribleness.
A Scots word for a peephole in a door, derived from the Old French word visée meaning ‘look’.
An Old English word meaning to lie awake anxiously before dawn.
To gently sleep or lightly slumber, from the Middle English slumen and the Old English slūmian.
A deep red cooking apple. The name derives from ‘beefing’, in reference to the colour of the fruit. People would often exchange biffins at Christmastime.
A person who likes to mindlessly stare (at anything). If only we all had more time to stare idly and do nothing. Turns out this old word has been adopted by canal boat residents and survives there to this day.
A 19th century American term for an unprincipled, dishonest person, especially a politician.
An obstinate person who holds on rigidly to a certain set of beliefs even though they are wrong or disproved. The term may have been coined by Erasmus.
To have digestive issues that are so severe, you can’t physically move.
An old Scots word originally used to describe dogs staring longingly at food in order to be given some, but extended to refer to anyone gazing at grub.
Another word for a person’s entrails, but can also be an insulting term aimed at an overweight person.
Not the soft drink that Alan Partridge was sponsored by, but a Victorian-era Scottish word meaning to chase girls around a haystack after dark. Possibly a combination of ‘spring’ and ‘hunt’.
Why don't you try them too, dear reader..?