Monday, March 12, 2012

Extracts from The Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams

Aasleagh (n.): A liqueur made only for drinking at the end of a revoltingly long bottle party when all the drinkable drink has been drunk.

Aboyne (vb.): To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.

Abruzzo (n.): The worn patch of ground under a swing.

Acklins (pl. n.): The odd twinges you get in parts of your body when you scratch other parts.

Ahenny (adj.): The way people stand when examining other people's bookshelves.

Aigburth (n.): Any piece of readily identifiable anatomy found amongst cooked meat.

Aith (n.): The single bristle that sticks out sideways on a cheap paintbrush.

Albacete (n.): A single surprisingly long hair growing in the middle of nowhere.

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

Amlwch (n.): A British Rail sandwich which has been kept soft by being regularly washed and resealed in clingfilm.

Ampus (n.): A lurid bruise which you can't remember getting.

Anantnag (vb.): (Eskimo term) To bang your thumbs between the oars when rowing.

Badachonacher (n.): An on-off relationship which never gets resolved.

Balemartine (n.): The look which says, 'Stop talking to that woman at once.'

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

Baughurst (n.): That kind of large fierce ugly woman who owns a small fierce ugly dog.

Bauple (n.): An indeterminate pustule which could be either a spot or a bite.

Beaulieu Hill (n.): The optimum vantage point from which to view people undressing in the bedroom across the street.

Belding (n.): The technical name for a stallion after its first ball has been cut off. Any notice which reads 'Beware of the Belding' should be taken very, very seriously.

Belper (n.): A knob of someone else's chewing gum which you unexpectedly find your hand resting on under the passenger seat of your car or on somebody's thigh under their skirt.

Bickerstaffe (n.): The person in an office that everyone whinges about in the pub. Many large corporations deliberately employ bickerstaffes in each department.

Bishop's Caundle (n.): An opening gambit before a game of chess where the missing pieces are replaced by small ornaments from the mantelpiece.

Bodmin (n.): That irrational and inevitable discrepancy between the amount pooled and the amount needed when a large group of people try to pay a bill together after a meal.

Boinka (n.): The noise through the wall which tells you that the people next door enjoy a better sex life than you do.

Boolteens (pl. n.): The small scattering of foreign coins and halfpennies which inhabit dressing tables. Since they are never used and never thrown away boolteens account for a significant drain on the world's money supply.

Boscastle (n.): The huge pyramid of tin cans placed just inside the entrance to a supermarket.

Brindle (vb.): To remember suddenly where it is you're meant to be going after you've already been driving for ten minutes.

Canudos (n.): The desire of married couples to see their single friends pair off.

Clenchwarton (n.): (Archaic) One who assists an exorcist by squeezing whichever part of the possessed the exorcist deems useful.

Climpy (adj.): Allowing yourself to be persuaded to do something and pretending to be reluctant.

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

Clun (n.): A leg which has gone to sleep and has to be hauled around after you.

Clunes (pl. n.): People who just won't go.

Cong (n.): Strange-shaped metal utensil found at the back of the saucepan cupboard. Many authorities believe that congs provide conclusive proof of the exstence of a now extinct form of yellow vegetable which the Victorians used to boil mercilessly.

Coodardy (adj.): Astounded at what you've just managed to get away with.

Cotterstock (n.): A piece of wood used to stir paint and thereafter stored uselessly in the shed in perpetuity.

Craboon (vb.): To shout boisterously from a cliff.

Cromarty (n.): The brittle sludge which clings to the top of ketchup bottles and plastic tomatoes in nasty caf├ęs.

For more, you'll just have to buy the book.

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