Daily Archives: February 16, 2005

Day 31 – Words

Earlier this week I aws telling someone off for complaining about Shakespeare’s spelling, what with the fact that most of his work was done over 100 years before Dr Johnson was even born!! But while looking at the history of the dictionary for a bit I discovered that the people who write Chambers Dictionary have a sense of humour…. not all of their definations are staight forward….. a few have a humourous twist!!

I thought I’d share them with you…….

éclair – a cake, long in shape but short in duration
Japanese cedar – a very tall Japanese conifer (Cryptomeria japonica) often dwarfed by Japanese gardeners
jaywalker – a careless pedestrian whom motorists are expected to avoid running down
middle-aged – between youth and old age, variously reckoned to suit the reckoner
mullet³ – a hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round

other words that, apparently, have these definitions include;

bachelor’s wife, bikini, boy band, charity begins at home, combover, go-faster stripes, grammaticaster, he-man, lady-killer, leprechaun, lint, massage someone’s ego, old girl, Oxford English, repent², restoration, road hog, Santa Claus, sea serpent, shiver my timbers, squillion, table-turning, tweenager, waistline.

I think I shall have to look some of these up…. I don’t know why, but I do suspect that under waistline the words ‘ever increasing’ will be mentioned…..