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The Meaning of Liff

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238.  Tue Oct 14, 2003 5:16 pm Reply with quote

Frances and Flash,

Wow, I'm proud of you guys.

At this rate, we can get Vol 2 in the shops in no time.

241.  Tue Oct 14, 2003 8:53 pm Reply with quote

Freeport - the unobstructed one you can never find on the back of your computer.

Standish - the time you can never remember to allow for when you take whatever you've cooked out of the microwave.

Yarmouth - one who jeers (derived from somebody using the form nyar-nyar-nyar-nyar-nyar)

Amersham - a member of a local amateur dramatic society

246.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 3:23 am Reply with quote

Alcester: cookery writers are aware that when they write a recipe calling for the addition of alcohol to a dish, the cook will always slosh in a bit more than it says in the recipe. So they adjust for this effect by understating the right dosage by an amount known as the Alcester. Thus a cake recipe which really needs two tablespoons of brandy will purport to need only one, a Nominal Alcester of 1tblspn. However, in order to make a really memorable cake you will need to use at least 3 tblspns, ie the True Alcester has the value 2 in this case. The True Alcester generally varies in a range from 1.7 to 2.4 times the Nominal Alcester, except in the case of sherry trifles, where it is seldom less than 4. The newer metric system of Vinsobres is more intellectually rigorous in that it measures the factor by which the amount in the recipe is increased, rather than the absolute amount - so it's more accurate in mass catering situations but less intuitive in a domestic context.

Oldziyt: the sensation you get when you see the Queen in real life, of noticing how much she's aged since they designed the five-pound note.

255.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:06 am Reply with quote

Croom - v.t. The act of combing the hair over the crown of the head from the nape. Cf. comb-over, which is to cover the crown with hair from the side of the head (eg Sir Bobby Charlton) Also, croom, n. the style of hair so combed.

Vetch - v.t. Complaining to drinking companions about being forced to mow the grass.

Gagingwell - n. (pron. Gay-jin-well) The sound of a correcly tuned two-stroke petrol mower.

Liss - n. the black, curd-like deposits left on the lips by wines from the South-West of France. Can be removed by the use of a liphook, qv.

Shule - n. pl The elasticated foot coverings supplied in aircraft care-packs (qv)

Garstang - n. Wind expelled from the bowels surrepticiously in a crowded car or bus.

Garstang Sally - n. the argument that breaks out attempting to establish the provenance of the smell.

Kyleakin - n. the sound of two boomerangs being slapped together (from the Aboriginal Nyungar garli, throwing stick, hence kylie, boomerang)

261.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 6:16 am Reply with quote

I thought Garstang Sally was a British, and much less cool, version of 'Mustang Sally', perhaps recorded by somebody like Chas'n'Dave.

269.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:15 pm Reply with quote

Tytherley: a blue funk induced by seeing a row of buttons with "code", "list", "list=" and "Img" written on them.

271.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:58 pm Reply with quote

Very good point, that last one Flash. I was just on the point of emailing Kieran about it.

Some earlier liff suggestions are already covered in the existent books.

Yarmouth, I seem to remember, is 'to shout at foreigners in the hope that they'll understand you better'.

'To tidy up a room before a cleaning lady arrives' is, as any fule kno, 'spofforth'.

And Amersham, if memory serves, is the tickle that precedes a sneeze.

The new alternatives, however, are often quite as good.

I am anhumbled by the high standard thus far.

275.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:26 pm Reply with quote

Dunoon - vb. To inveigle somebody into a game when you know that they have no ability at the game whatsoever. Also leads to the shame-faced admission " I was dunooned ".

Pittsburg - n. A large block of ice contaminated by industrial fluid.

Epping - n. A confusion of the issue, from the verb, to epp.

Upminster - v. To build a church.

Chingford - n. An anachronism in chrysallis stage.

Nome - n. An actor with no stage presence whatsoever.

Swindon - n. A perfectly cooked joint of roast pork.

276.  Wed Oct 15, 2003 5:56 pm Reply with quote

Ahoghill - the unfortunate after-effects of swine-fever

Avoca - the decision to drop out of the convent before taking final vows.

Cousane Gap - what happens when all your aunts and uncles go into the church.

Cloghbrack - the ball of mucus that you have to clear from your throat before attempting to break into song.

Macroom - the shiny bits of scalp that show through the hair combed over from behind (see Croom)

Tahila - an all-purpose word to be used when attempting to remember the Spanish lyrics of 'Guantanamera'

Welling - that period of time during recovery from the flu when you actually fancy a cup of tea

280.  Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:32 am Reply with quote

Ffridd Faldwyn - the unreasonable confidence in one's future sobriety of one who is only drinking spritzers.

Maesycrugiau - the amount by which one's weight has unaccountably risen while on a diet

Incidentally, as a member in good standing of an am dram club, I take issue with Jenny over Amersham. Amersham is in fact the assurance given by architects that your buiding will certainly be completed on time and within budget; or by lawyers that you will certainly win your case. The abilityof amateur dramatic personae is Owermoigne.

293.  Thu Oct 16, 2003 8:09 pm Reply with quote

I'm interested in the argument about " Amersham ". As I understood it, the word came from the States and was standard usage by employees and investors, during the Depression, when a business man took his own life. The business man, having let down his staff and investors, would jump from a window or shoot himself: either way, the last 'ed" was always lost. Those fond of their employer / business partner woulld assume that the man was trying to saying " I'm ashamed "; others interpreted it as " I'm a sham ". It became a term used by would-be employees at future job interviews to explain why they left their last post: "I had an Amersham".

295.  Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:39 am Reply with quote

Liebig, your version has the ring of truth. However, and Off Topic, I understand that there is in fact no record of any stockbroker jumping to his death from an office window during the Wall Street Crash, which is QI because the image one has is that this was a pretty hazardous time to be a pedestrian what with all the suits dropping out of the sky. Not so, apparently.

308.  Fri Oct 17, 2003 8:33 pm Reply with quote

Flash, is it then a Hollywood invention, rather as, going even further Off Topic ( have we established OT? ) the igloo?

311.  Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:23 am Reply with quote

Gasp! Those rascals never invented the igloo, did they? If so they must have done so quite a long time ago - I'm looking at Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia (my standard reference work) and it has an entry for igloo, saying basically that it's a hut in Alaska or Greenland built of planks or stones and covered with turf or "often ... built simply of snow". Strangely, there's no publication date given in the front of the tome, but I deduce from the warm tones in which the author describes Germany's recovery from the First World War and recent admittance into the League of Nations that we're in the early thirties.

You'll be telling us that eskimos ("esquimaux" , as the old books say - a better spelling, don't you think?) don't share their wives with visitors next. You're not telling us that, are you?

312.  Sat Oct 18, 2003 5:26 am Reply with quote

Oh, and ref the stockbrokers, I don't know where the myth got started, but that's myths for you.


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