This post comes with a disclaimer

I love words. I may have mentioned this before. Occasionally. I especially love British words, British slang, British phrases, the rhythm and phraseology that comes from across the pond. It’s far out. I can’t help it; I drank tea in the womb, I was brought up on PBS and I was way into Doctor Who before it got all cool and popular. Tom Baker rules.

I might just be a sucker for the accent too. Maybe. Just saying.

I included the word ‘whinging’ in one of my plays and at a reading an actor was sure I had just spelled ‘whining’ wrong. Oh no, it’s whinging. And yes I know they mean the same thing. And no you can’t say whining. It’s whinging.

I think too that because Britain has such a longer history with words than we do, the etymology of words and phrase is intensely far out. I love the way that words change, evolve, mutate over time. Perhaps not so far out for you, but it seriously entertains me. What do you want from me, I watched PBS as a kid.

This week I heard Jamie Oliver use the phrase ‘up the duff.’ And though I knew what it meant, I didn’t know the journey of the phrase. So I looked it up. (What on earth did we do before the internet) It is so intensely amazing that something from the 1800’s is born, changes, mutates, and ends up the way it does in the common vernacular. Far out.

Ok, here’s the disclaimer. I’m not providing a link because, well, the journey of the phrase some has some baser connotations and there’s this whole youth thing we’re attached to and if you want to search out the etymology it’s your own choice and your own fault and don’t come crying to me that I lead you astray. You’ve been warned and if you’re easily offended, don’t look up the phrase. Easy.

You can go here instead! I also came across a new online dictionary Wordnik. Another place with awesome words!

Wordnik wants to be ‘the place for all words and everything known about them.’ That’s what I love about online dictionaries – a hardcover book is nice, but it can only contain so many words with so many¬†explanations The internet is boundless with space possibilities. Love that. Seriously.

About the author

Lindsay Price