Sniglet season

June 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Winter has just begun, and I’m knee deep in sniglets.

Since my last post on words the English language lacks, I’ve been rereading the wonderful ‘The Meaning of Liff’ by the glorious Douglas Adams. If you haven’t read his ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, track it down now. Go on, I’ll wait…

Ok the rest of you, let’s push ahead without them…they might be a while!

Sniglets are words that don’t appear in any dictionary, but should. If you’ve been reading this blog since its birth six months ago then you know it’s my forum for all things inky, from obsolete words to bizarre phrasebooks, mistranslations and mondegreens, to news of the stories I’ve managed to fling from my fingertips and send spiralling out into the publishing world.

So you KNOW I couldn’t resist a good sniglet (I’d just like to point out that my spellcheck automatically changed that to ‘singlet’, which would have made quite the curious sentence).

Here are a few that caused me mirth:

Abilene – the pleasing coolness of the reverse side of the pillow

Ahenny – the way people stand when examining other people’s bookshelves

Albuquerque – a shapeless squiggle with is utterly unlike your normal signature, but is all you can produce when asked to formally identify yourself

Bodmin – the inevitable discrepancy between the amount pooled and the amount needed when a large group of people try to pay a bill together at a restaurant

Burleston – the peculiar tuneless humming made by people who are extremely angry

Corriearklet – the moment at which two people approaching from opposite ends of a long corridor recognise each other, and immediately pretend they haven’t.

Cranleigh – a mood of irrational irritation with everyone and everything


Draffan – an infuriating person who always manages to look much more dashing than anyone else by turning up unshaven and hungover at a formal party

Fraddam – the small awkward-shaped piece of cheese which remains after grating a large chunk

Frolesworth – a measure of time: the minimum time necessary to spend frowning in deep concentration at each picture in an art gallery so everyone else doesn’t think you’re a complete moron

Heaton Punchardon – the vicious argument that breaks out in the car on the way home from a party, between a couple who have had to be polite to each other in company all evening

Hever – the panic caused by half-hearing a public announcement in an airport

Hobbs Cross – the awkward manoeuvre a woman has to go through in bed in order to make him sleep on the wet patch

Hoff – to deny indignantly something  which is palpably true

Lindisfarne – the pleasant smell of an empty biscuit tin

Low Ardwell – a seductive remark made hopefully in the back of a taxi

Moffat – the part of your coat designed to be sat on by the person next to you on the bus

Nad – the distance between a driver’s outstretched fingertips and the ticket machine in a car park

Nazeing – the rather unconvincing noises of pretended interest which an adult has to make when brought a small dull object for admiration by a child

Ozark – one who offers to help just after all the work has been done

Peoria – the fear of peeling too few potatoes

Plymouth – to relate an amusing story to someone without remembering it was they who told it to you in the first place

Polbathic – gifted with the ability to manipulate taps using only the feet

Poona – the satisfied grunting noise made when sitting back after a good meal

Sconser – a person who looks around when talking to you, to see if there’s anyone more interesting about

Scosthrop – to make vague cutting movements with your fingers while wandering about looking for scissors, in the hope this will help in some way

Simprim – the false modesty by which a girl with a cavernous visible cleavage pulls her skirt down

Swanibost – completely shagged out after a hard day having income tax explained to you

Taroom – to make loud noises during the night to let the burglars know you’re home

Tumby – the involuntary stomach gurgling which inevitably fills the silence following someone else’s intimate personal revelation

Ventnor – one who, having been visited as a child by a mysterious gypsy lady, is gifted with the strange power of being able to operate the air-nozzles above aeroplane seats

Whaplode Drove – a homicidal golf stroke

Whasset – a business card in your wallet from someone you have no recollection of meeting

Woking – standing in the kitchen wondering what on earth you came in there for

Wrabness – the feeling of trying to dry oneself with a damp towel

Yarmouth – to shout at foreigners in the belief that the louder you speak, the better they’ll understand you

Yonkers – the combined thrill of pain and shame when being caught in public plucking your nostril-hairs and stuffing them in your coat pocket

Hmm, that last one does say an awful lot about the authors…if any of that tickled your fancy, I highly recommend the book – ‘The Meaning of Liff’ by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd. And of course, if you have any of your own to add, by all means – share!





  1. Lisa said,

    far out I don’t know which I like best, mind due I don’t think I can pronounce any so that might pose a problem if I tried to use…
    such a delight to read, I love how you know this stuff xxx

    yeah this has happened to me

    “Plymouth – to relate an amusing story to someone without remembering it was they who told it to you in the first place”

  2. Michael said,

    I can vividly remember my first ‘Lord Ardwell’, the taxi driver bolted and I had to walk the rest of the way home.

    Always a highly enjoyable read in the morning.

  3. Jessica Tremp said,

    I thought you were talking about singlets too when I first started reading…
    I so do this ‘Frolesworth – a measure of time: the minimum time necessary to spend frowning in deep concentration at each picture in an art gallery so everyone else doesn’t think you’re a complete moron’

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: