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The Meaning of Liff

Expanding Your Vocabulary, One Word At a Time

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

"In life, there are many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognise, but for which no words exist." Douglas Adams & John Lloyd

What is The Meaning of Liff? And, indeed, what is the meaning of this post?

We want to pay homage to a severely underrated book in modern society. A book that aims to broaden your horizons and treat your vocabulary to a myriad of new words you can include in day-to-day conversation.

Ever yearned for a term to define the precise instant at which scrambled eggs are ready? Struggled for a word to describe the thing that rattles around inside an aerosol can? Then look no further than The Meaning of Liff: A dictionary of things that there aren’t any words for yet.

If you’ve never heard of this life-changing literary masterpiece, or are in need of a refresher, here are a few of our fave picks:

Alcoy (adj.): Wanting to be bullied into having another drink.

Bathel (vb.): To pretend to have read the book under discussion when in fact you've only seen the TV series.

Cloates Point (n.): The precise instant at which scrambled eggs are ready.

Duddo (n.): The most deformed potato in any given collection of potatoes.

Eakring (ptcpl. vb.): Wondering what to do next when you've just stormed out of something.

Farnham (n.): The feeling you get at about four o'clock in the afternoon when you haven't got enough done.

Frolesworth (n.): Measure. The minimum time it is necessary to spend frowning in deep concentration at each picture in an art gallery in order that everyone else doesn't think you're a complete moron.

Gaffney (n.): Someone who deliberately misunderstands things for, he hopes, humorous effect.

Kabwum (n.): The cutesy humming noise you make as you go to kiss someone on the cheek.

Macroy (n.): An authoritative, confident opinion based on one you read in a newspaper.

Millinocket (n.): The thing that rattles around inside an aerosol can.

Mimbridge (n.): That which two very boring people have in common which enables you to get away from them.

Sigglesthorne (n.): Anything used in lieu of a toothpick.

Worksop (n.): A person who never actually gets round to doing anything because he spends all his time writing out lists headed 'Things To Do (Urgent)'.

Trunch (n.): Instinctive resentment of people younger than you.

Yesnaby (n.): A 'yes, maybe' which means 'no'.

Use them as you please, you’re welcome.