Friday, December 11, 2009

The Wonder of Whiffling - joyous English words

I've lifted some posh-appropriate words from 'The Wonder of Whiffling and other extraordinary words in the English language' by my good friend Adam Jacot de Boinod. Adam takes us on a tour around the language of the British Isles, finding words you always wished existed but never knew...Here are some words that Posh Bird wishes she had known when describing the less pleasant members of her species.

Posh mannerisms:
bespawl (Tudor-Stuart) to bespatter with saliva
sirkenton (Ayrshire) one who is very careful to avoid pain or cold and keeps near the fire
smell-feast (1519) one who haunts good tables, a greedy sponger
slapsauce (1573) a person who enjoys eating fine food, a glutton
yaffle (1788) to eat or drink especially noisily or greedily
admiral of the narrow seas (17C) a drunkard who vomits over his neighbour
stalko (1802) a man who has nothing to do and no fortune to support him but who styles himself as a squire

For describing the looks of a toff:
stridewallops (Yorkshire) a tall, long-legged girl
endormorphic (1888) being short but powerful
simous (1634) having a very flat nose or with the end turned up
mimp (1786) to speak in a prissy manner, usually with pursed lips

What they wear:
prick-me-dainty (1529) one that is finicky about dress; a dandy (of either sex)
galligaskins (1577) loose breeches
excruciators (19C) very tight, pointed shoes [what woman doesn't have a pair of these?]
caxon (1756) a worn-out wig

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