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B words

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2644.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:55 am Reply with quote

So we have the Three Essentials: a fact, a misconception, and a gag. Three in one and one in three, one for all and all for one.

PS, while I think of it: Famous First Lines, number 1 - Three Men in a Boat

"There were four of us."

2659.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:08 pm Reply with quote

And the Famous Five included a dog, if you remember. And lashings of ginger beer of course.

Why haven't we got a thread on beer yet?

2660.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:09 pm Reply with quote

I do like the notion of the original barbacoa as being IKEA for indigenous folks - that really made me chuckle.

2669.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:45 pm Reply with quote

The "Beer" topic has been allocated to Menocchio for some reason - he should be starting a thread at some point, unless you want to jump the gun.

2671.  Wed Dec 03, 2003 4:46 pm Reply with quote

What I know about beer could doubtless be written on the back of a bottle of Bass, so I'll leave it to Menocchio.

2713.  Thu Dec 04, 2003 2:42 am Reply with quote

This idea of an 'extra person' is interesting.

Apparently Captain Scott decided to take 'an extra person at the last minute' which made the food situation even worse (Amundsen used dogs for transport and ate them as he went along, Scott took ponies and didn't).

It also meant that five people were crammed into a four man tent.

The source doesn't say which of his four companions - Wilson, Bowers, Evans and Oates –was the 'extra' one. Does anyone know?

I remember reading somewhere ages ago that during the expedition Scott continually had the eerie feeling that they were accompanied by an invisible sixth companion, whom he sensed out of the corner of his eye as it were.

For source purposes, the information comes from here:

(but the link isn't otherwise worth reading)

Last edited by JumpingJack on Thu Dec 04, 2003 4:25 am; edited 1 time in total

2720.  Thu Dec 04, 2003 4:20 am Reply with quote

Some French 'B' words:

berk exclamation

berlingot n
boiled sweet, humbug.

There's a Citroen van called a Berlingo which has always struck me as a typically ugly and meaningless chosen-by-focus-group car name. The Citroen Humbug would be a lot catchier. The French for a saloon car is une berline which must make the name even more confusing for a native French-speaker.

The other meaning of 'berlingot' is a carton or sachet. Carton is French for 'cardboard', it only means a box because that's what boxes are frequently made from.

Has anyone noticed that the word 'sachet' is virtually unknown in the US? Americans hear it as 'sashay' and it confuses them completely. What do the Yanks keep their shampoo in? Does anyone know?

barnacle goose

bernicle n

Interesting that the French have a slightly different word for 'barnacle' and 'barnacle goose' while English doesn't bother.

beuglant n

bibi n
a woman's hat

bibliobus n
mobile library

bidule n
thingummy, thingumabob, wossname, whatsit

biffage n
crossing out

bifidus n

(*So that's all cleared up then)

2746.  Thu Dec 04, 2003 8:09 am Reply with quote

Here is a nice website, which gives the meaning of various African names. This is the link to the B page:

In fact I think I'll look for the homepage and put it on the websites thread on the Other Forum.

2951.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:34 am Reply with quote

backsters n
Flat pieces of wood strapped to the feet, used for walking on shingle.

bad vb
( West country dialect)To shell walnuts. badding,bads


2952.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:36 am Reply with quote

Nobody knows where the word baffle comes from.



2953.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:40 am Reply with quote

To baffle someone originally meant to subject someone* to public disgrace or infamy or infamy by hanging their picture upside-down.

s: OED s:DAW

*especially a perjured knight

2954.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:03 am Reply with quote

bagatine n
An old Italian coin, worth about one third of a farthing.

(Mentioned by Ben Jonson). Plus ca change


Bag-Of-Nails, Bag-o'-Nails, The n
This common pub-name was originally the Bacchanals.
Also: 'he squints like a bag-o'-nails' (ie his eyes point in numerous different directions).


bag-pudding n
A rustic culinary speciality of ancient Gloucestershire, said to have been a favourite of King Arthur.


An insolvent debtor obliged to swear in court that his total value was under five shillings and fivepence.


2955.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:23 am Reply with quote

The name Baxter means 'a female baker'.

s: DAW

balkers n
People who stand on high places on the coast pointing out to fishermen where the herring shoals are.

s: DAW

ballock-broth n
An ancient and suspiciously-constituted form of curry.

s: DAW

ballock-knife n
A knife worn hanging from the belt.

s: DAW

balzan n
A horse with white feet.

s: DAW

bamble n
To walk unsteadily.

s: DAW

2956.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:50 am Reply with quote

The inhabitants of Banbury in Oxfordshire were historically not noted for their brains, tolerance or generosity.

Old sayings include:

'Like Banbury tinkers, who in stopping up one hole make two' and 'As wise as the mayor of Banbury, who would prove that Henry III was before Henry II' and 'as thin as Banbury cheese'

At the beginning of the 17th century Banbury was remarkable for its large number of Puritans. According to Ben Johnson a Banbury man was a synonym for a bigot.

Banbury cheese was noted for its peculiar thin-ness. In The Merry Wives of Windsor i,1 Bardolf compares Slender to Banbury cheese.

s:DAW s: BRE 1894

The local newspaper in modern Banbury is called The Banbury Cake.

2957.  Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:53 am Reply with quote

Youth crime in Banbury is such of a problem that Drayton School, Banbury has its own police station.


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