A


AMPED
: basic abbrev. of amplified but used to denote a heightened effect or reaction.

(I AM) AWFULLY FOND OF A SHERRY BEFORE DINNER : said by a star, a top banana, who likes a little aperitif or two before the show starts - whatever said show may be. Said to be a favourite catchphrase of the great Keith Moon aka The Loon. I guess he and his old mucker John Bonham would have it out in the quest to find Britain's loudest drummer.

Just to give you that little bit extra of a jolly for your time wasted here, if I remember rightly The Loon was one of many of the Glam Rock set of the pre-punk 70s who enjoyed sharing a bed with a pert young boy. I'm sure that legendary LA scenester Rodney Bingenheimer (visually, think of an Andy Warhol who couldn't be bothered to dye his hair) fessed up as much during a Q magazine feature. Well, these were the times when nothing was said when Jimmy Page was parting the legs of thirteen year-old honeys. I'll reprint this - lifted from the Groupie Dirt skinny on Led Zep:

Jimmy Page is considered a legend when it comes to sex with groupies. We've heard that he hasn't given up his S&M ways and he likes his women to be submissive. We also hear that Jimmy is into role-playing and often asks his sexual conquests to pretend that they're little girls.

And sometimes maybe those conquests really ARE little girls. Just ask Lori Maddox or Sable Starr, two of many females who had sexual relationships with Jimmy before they reached the age of 15.

Robert Plant has earned high praise as a lover and he has a huge penis (reportedly almost 10 inches). According to groupies who've had the pleasure of intimate encounters with Mr. Plant, he is a kinder, gentler version of Jimmy Page.

Robert is playful, flirtatious, and treats most groupies with respect. We also hear that Robert finds it a turn-on when women fawn all over his golden locks. Robert is damn proud that he still has a lot of hair, unlike many of his peers who are rapidly losing theirs!"

B


BANJO
: open a door - with force. Often uttered on The Bill, Britain's 'real-life' cops drama. Suffice to say that it's closer to Friends than The Shield. The mighty Shield!

A couple of brief digressions: The Bill itself has only ever been good for one thing - ie one character - Tosh Lines.

Tosh Lines. A cartoon blimp of a police officer (short, fat, dishevelled, fond of a tipple, irascible, with the requisite 'complicated' love life), in real real life the actor playing him was an alcoholic; notoriously he went on a week-long bender - luridly pursued by the British 'gutter' press - that killed him.

I confess that I - and many others - found the whole thing hysterical back then (late 90s): we were warped young minds seeking warped living legends; but now it's sad. Very sad.

Of course, in the annals of British TV there is a cop drama that sits above all others: The Sweeney.

(Inspector Morse, I hear? No. Not having that. Here's why. Morse is closer to Agatha Christie's Poirot et al than a street-legal police procedural. He was an interior detective, solving a whodunnit - whereas the Sweeney operated as the exact opposite. Regan & Carter pretty much knew who had done it each time - it was all about the chase: finding the fence and the slag and the ponce and the nonce with a "Put 'em away, darlin'" and "Get yer trousers on, you're nicked, sunshine" - and more often than not, a bollocking from 'upstairs' for bending the rules.)

A brief bio of the show is here, and a site with more features is here.

As a clincher, I insist that the melancholic exit music to The Sweeney remains the best there has been on TV. And the opening theme tune itself is right up there in that department as well, though there the competition is really stiff: Van Der Valk, The Persuaders, The Simpsons, The Sopranos . . .

BEARD : my oh my, how the world of show is littered with beards. Even now, so late in the goddamned day. All these people pretending to be in 'conventional' heterosexual relationships, when every chance they get they're off sating their real desires - comparing and nuzzling cocks or conjoining clit rings. An odd, inexplicable quirk is that beards seem to be the predilection of the vertically challenged.

No, I'm not falling into temptation and naming names here - for one thing, the list would go on and on. Hello! magazine and its bitchier sister rags are stuffed with beards: indeed, there are C-list celebs whose whole aison d'etre is to serve as a beard - anything, anything to be anywhere near the flashbulbs and spotlights.

To finish, here's Roger's Profanisaurus' tight definitions:

Ancient: Hairy Pie; mapatasi.

Recent: a woman married to a gay man in order to conceal his true sexuality. As in: "Do you reckon that Sophie is Edward's beard then, or what?"

BEER GOGGLES
: a great contemporary institution; but being the mincing iconoclast that I am, nowadays I prefer to see them worn by others. That's pure yarbles, of course: I have them on about twice a week, same as just about everybody else I know in this town.

BINGO WINGS : the first of a fair few steals from Bo! Selecta (almost exclusively Series 2). Said wings are the arm flaps on the average middle-aged woman: the bite in Bo! is to assign this sadly pretty inevitable physical development to younger female celebs - who, as we all know, spend up to an hour each morning worshipping at the porcelain altar to cleanse themselves of the sins (read calories in alcohol) of the previous night's bender.

(the) BIN LINER TREATMENT : settle down, children. Pop an Adderall - or whatever it is you're using to ease yourself up, down or level off. Right: once upon a long ago - when donkeys wore high hats - suckers on the corporate vines would receive a pat on the back and a clock come their graceful retirement at 65 or 70; they bwere then free to sit by the old two bar fire and viddy down the tick-tock of their lives.

Then something happened. In London, the big bad Iron Lady cometh . . . and everything went strange. In actuality, things went American. And before we knew it, before tinkers had abandoned the search for Shergar, poor little city types found themselves on the receiving end of the Bin Liner Treatment - with its vocal companion, "Oi, you've got fifteen minutes to clear your desk and hop it."

And oh how we youngsters laughed at their misfortune. And now . . . now we tremble. Our snide, snarky digit salutes at the head honcho, when his back is turned and the humming lights tressed above anoint his pate, betray not the tremble of anger, scorn, or even our dearest friend - delirium tremens: no, the story they tell is that of fear.

BLANG BLANG : when a brother points to another brother bequeathed in tiresome bling bling, then points to his own head, meaning It's not what's outside, it's what's inside. (As spotted, and sported, oddly enough, by celebrity chav Tim Westwood.)

BLOOD PUDDING : what you get when your daily ablutions are afflicted with stools that struggle to make it to freedom. And, small comfort though this be to the denizens of the Third World, the richer your diet the greater the struggle - or so I've been told.

Because I want to, I'll digress slightly here to slip in a bit of Salvador Dali - as he was a man with a fixation about the quality of his stools and other bodily secretions. Try this:

The stool of today is of the purest ... I attribute it, without question, to my quasi absolute asceticism - and remember with repugnance ... my stools at the time of my debaucheries, when I was twenty years old and living in Madrid with Lorca and Bunuel. It was of unnameable ignominie, pestilential, discontinuous, spasmodic, splashing . . .

Any further questions?

BO : taking its meaning from rhyming slang: Bo Diddley = diddly squat. So bo can mean nothing, useless, empty - generally dismissive. "U2's new single is bo, and the album title is completely up its own arse."

BONGO-BONGO LAND : no, not Hackney - quite. What it is is a description of countries where tinpot dictatorships tend to flourish, and it was floated into the public realm by the late Alan Clark MP. A casual read of his Diaries would suggest that in his mind the term covered just about anywhere south or east of Gibraltar.

BOX-HILL BEHAVIOUR : as slyly referred to in The Streets' A Grand Don't Come for Free, whereby he doffs his beer-stained burberry cap to the Grand Dame of English Literature, Jane Austen. Essentially it refers to the sorry act of belittling your social inferiors, purely for sadistic pleasure.

I'm sure that I don't need to direct you to chapter 43 of Emma, wherein the original incident is delicately unfolded.

Need I add that in London the inability to complete correctly on demand the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice often begets insolent service at bars and restaurants - or no service whatsoever. Furthermore, as the Streets proclaims, "No sexual favours shall come your way for free either. Neither." I do my bit by passing on this information to every tourist I converse with. Please feel free to do likewise.

BREAK DOWN THE BACK DOOR : okay, bear with me a short while ... Early doors in Yellow Dog, Martin Amis riffs about the loss of pudeur in modern manners - you know the sort of thing: couples fulminating at each other right in front of you, or, somehow worse still, via their mobiles. The thing is: you become an eavesdropper against your will; and your only choice of escape is to move from where you are.

Now, early one evening, as I was travelling through south London by train in an almost empty carriage, there was this guy on the phone to some girl. He was highly miffed that she was planning to stay out on the piss, and the few of us in the carriage couldn't help but hear it. One of his lines in cajolling her home early was his stated desire to "break down her back door". He continued, "After all, you didn't mind last time."

BUKKAKE : friends with the time and inclination to do these things tell me that this is the most popular search nowadays, when you're looking for some late afternoon (the alone at work scenario) or late night (home alone, curtains drawn) entertainment.

I assume we all know what it is, so I'll just add my wish as to how it should be pronounced. I insist that for poetic effect it should rise and rise, before melismatically falling at the death (boo - car - key!) - rather like the act itself, if you see where I'm coming from, and I think all of you do.

BUMBACLOT : Motherfucker. As used by Caribbeans, particularly those who wish to "burn a sodomite raw".

See this - culled from the Guardian in January 2005:

"When I first came to Peckham we just wanted to be accepted by the West Indian community," says Posh - an acronym constructed from Paul Olufunbi Shokoya (his name) and Harrison (his mother's). He is remembering 1988, when a young Nigerian student of child psychology came to London on holiday, got a girl pregnant, and decided to stay to look after her.

"I used to have a lot of problems back then," he continues, leading the way down into the Big Choice basement. What kind of problems? "Very violent problems. If you go into one of their pubs and you check one of their girls, you are in trouble if they know you are African. They'd go bumbaclot and all that." (Bumbaclot, the acme of Jamaican swearing, translates literally as "arsewipe". Its real meaning is more like a slow, surprised "motherfucker".)

C


"CAN YOU SMELL FISH?"
: after a heavy but somewhat succesful night out, upon congregating next day for the inquest (and a usually very necessary Hair of the Dog) you may well feel the need to sniff your friend's digits and enquire aloud, "Can you smell fish? I can."

It's a phrase that's entered the culture via one of Viz's Fat Slags animations - one in which the star turn, Roy Chubby Arse (any similarity with Roy Chubby Brown completely intended - and, I believe, approved of by the man himself) bites off more than he can chew.

"Can you smell fish?" is just one of Chubby Arse's endearments to the threadbare audience; another is "Drink piss do you?" [Woman with husband in tow in the 'front row' shakes her head vigorously] "Yessss," declares Chubby. "Come here then, cause I've got a bucketload for yer."

Oh yes: it's sexist talk from a disgustingly sexist act. And in real life, women lap it up. Chubby's comedy act, that is.

As for his doppelganger, the late Chubby Arse will be sorely missed.

CHAIN OF JOY : when one macabre event has a macabre link to another macabre event, thus providing achain of joy. This example from Popbitch:

Barry George [the murderer of BBC presenter Jill dando] posed as Barry Bulsara, Freddie Mercury's cousin. He spent the night before Princess Diana's funeral outside Westminster Abbey to get a good place and held up a placard to his "Queen of Hearts" signed "Barry Bulsara, Freddie's Cousin (RIP)".

CHAZBAPS : as referred to in this snippet from - yet again - Popbitch:

We thought we’d seen the last of Billie. The teenager with the double knob-gob mouth was our favourite wild child, earning the nickname Chazbaps after an alleged breast-drug incident, and generally behaving so badly that her former teacher despairingly referred to her as “a mouse on the motorway”.

But then she was dragged off by Chris Evans, and seemed set to spend the rest of her life sitting in the shed at the bottom of his garden, drinking beer.

And with reports of her marriage being over Billie should be back to enliven the blighted pages of Britain’s celeb magazines. But she can’t resist fulfilling the fantasies of older men: she’s going to be appearing as the Doctor’s assistant in the new seriesof Doctor Who.

(FYI: Billie was once voted most popular pin-up by the hardened criminals of Britain’s jails.)

CHEB HEAD : a doper, a joker, a midnight toker . . .

CHOOT : one for the ladies, mostly - a conribution from our Indian community. used as in, "After he filled my choot, I wiped him clean with my dupatta."

CHUGGER : particularly annoying street beggars. See here.

CLOUGH CHEEKS : named after the frazzled doyen of English football managers, Brian Clough née Clout. Marching hand in hand with old Cloughie's ability to turn base metal in to gold when it came to footballers, was an ability to nurse a bottle of spirits through each day.

However, as any old soak can testify, year after year of that leaves you with corpse-candle cheeks. Drink a bottle of red every day for a week and you can quickly achieve a fetching miniature of said face paint.

COCKMUNCHER : reputedly, this activity is practiced by at least two members of the latest British boy band, McFly.

COLON CHOKER : a gay, happy person, keen on gay, happy things. Personally, I prefer to (d)ream.

LES CONS : don't excuse my French, because I'm not apologising. This is used by my circle to describe the new influx of Converse wearers, NOT the originals: the early New York and London scenes that knew -instantly - that the Strokes were the real deal. Ah, that glorious summer of 2001 (and we all know what event ended that Eden), but like all such things . . .

Like all such things the look has now been co-opted by effete fashionistas out in the sticks (and, sorrry to say, closer to home) who would guess that Fabrizio Moretti designs expensive Italian shoes, and whose just-so lifestyle contradicts every fucking instinct that the Strokes and others are about. Ready-ripped jeans!

Les Cons will all fuck off soon, but I think the Converse label will retain some of its cachet.

CORNFLAKE KNOWLEDGE : I plead guilty to this. Don't you too have the feeling that you know bits and pieces about lots of things (from the useful to the pointless) but that you don't possess a thorough knowledge of anything, any one area?

In short, THERE IS NOTHING ABOUT WHICH I KNOW EVERYTHING - and it bugs the hell out of me.

What is worse is the fact that there's so much more information coming at us day after day - all these little cornflakes of knowledge, just like the Did you know? stuff on the back of cereal packets.

CUTE : throw away your dictionary definition, but retain your sexual definition . . . and then weird it out. Cute is the latest phenomenon in Japan where young women dress up as schoolgirls - because, surprise fucking surprise, it's what Japanese businessmen go for.

I kid you not: there's even a range of products so that the young damsels can perfect their "please Daddy" image. The full story is here.

D


(BUT) DID YOU MAKE THE POLICEMEN DANCE?
: to be used like this: "So, you had a great night out without me . . . but, did you make the policemen dance?"

There's a story - an awful story? - behind this. Several years ago in the UDI state of Wandsworth, south London, some policemen were shot at by a car full of brothers. Only they didn't shoot directly at them, but aimed their shots at the pavement in front, thus making them 'dance' out of the way. It made the papers and everything.

Now, there are some people out there in the Big Smoker who think this story is a right laugh. And I, for my sins, once committed the shameful faux pas of mentioning this event to an off-duty copper at a dinner party. I did so somehwat unthinkingly, as his then heavily pregnant wife was standing next to him at the time of our little conversation.

DISTURB YOUR PARENTS
: the story behind this is that back in the early days of Jamaican dancehall soundclashes Sir Coxone Dodd would hire some rude boys to mosh over to a rival's dancehall and scare people away . . . to his own show.

Said fuel to encourage the rude boys came in the form of a home-made rum, so wild that the addition of anything else - ice, water, soft drink - would cause vapours to rise from the base liquid. It was said this drink would cause you to "disturb your parents" ie they would not believe what this tipple had done to you.

Incidentally, in the 19th century disturbance was slang for alcohol in the USA, and - just beacuse I adore this line - in 1968 Mick Jagger proclaimed "My name is called Disturbance" in the great Street Fighting Man.

DO ONE : as in "Are we off then?" "Yeah, let's do one."

DON'T DROWN THE DRINK : don't smother the lovely Stoli etc with too much mixer. I want to feel the whoosh! Of course, this is really just a morph of "don't lose the baby with the bathwater!" (Easy uncle, it's so easy to slide into tired old slang.)

DOWN WITH IT (THAT / WHATEVER) : simple reverse slang ie flipping up for it. A fact jacked: it is impossible to take a cappucino at 4pm (it's rightful time!) without uttering said phrase at some point in any conversation. And believe me, I've tried.

DUFFER : apologies for a slight lowering of the source tone, but this phrase has been domained by the chamois-leather textured ubiquitous TV antique expert David Dickinson - as Alan Partridge would say, he's "particularly popular with students".

Okay: that's one use. Here's the way I use it: consulting the Bible - Jonathan Green's Dictionary of Slang - you will find: duffer [1980s+] (drugs) a girl or woman who offers sex in return for drugs.

You see? Sooner or later, something pops up that reminds you of college . . .


E


EARLY DOORS
: I think I'm safe in attributing this to Big Ron Atkinson, football analyser extraordinaire. He uses it to refer to the first ten, fifteen minutes of a game, but in the wider social context it's used for anyone who goes or scores - tops off - early of a session/evening.

By the way, you can find more of Big Ron's gems here - and because I fucking well can, I'll state old Ron's defining moment, when, following an especially rank performance by Marcel Desailly for Chelsea in a key Champions League game, he commented that Desailly [had become a] "lazy nigger".

EMO : like bo, an instant dismissal of something (especially a musical act or song) as shit. "Keane? Keane? They're fucking emo, they are."

Personally, I can't tell the difference between them and McFly. Is there any?

F

FACT JACKED : something that is incontrovertibly true. You know, something like the sexual predilections of Tom Cruise. And nothing like the rumour (filthy rumour, or a woman's sopping fantasy? Who am I to decide?) concerning Jude Law and Dame David Beckham.

FEELIN' (IT) : mainly as in "yeah, I'm feelin' that track - are you down with it?" And sometimes used as a kind of if I must act like I care statement of empathy. The latter use is, of course, a case of pure London yarbles.

FISHED UP HIS (HER / MY) BOAT : to show up i.e. make an appearance. Especially if the appearence was unexpected, or something of a chore.

FLIPPERS : = feet, as in "My oh my, the Thorpedo has big flippers."

FRIENDLY : as in "these toilets are friendly" - meaning that the set-up (lockable door, clean flat surface) is favourable for the necessary racking out of nightfighter fuel.

FUCK OFF A MINUTE : dragged into distinction by Bo! Selecta (chiefly by the Craiiig Daviiid caricature). Used to question the sanity and/or validity of what someone else has just said or done. As such, there's an often apt written abbreviation: FOAM.

G


GAY BROTHER MUSIC
: take a look around you, it's almost always there. Right now step forward yer Coldplay's, yer Keane's and yer Snow Patrol's ... Also known as Valium Rock. Either way, this epithet really works in pissing off the hordes who swallow this stuff H, L & S.

GET ON THIS : pay attention to this record, band etc. It'll do you good.

GET THE VIOLIN(S) OUT : a cry uttered when someone in your circle is about to give you the sob story of their terrible day/life/childhood etc. "Hold on, hold on; get the violins out ..." Occasionally amped to "warm up the string quartet".

GIVE US A BELL : as in this message: "Oi, Pete Libertine, when you've sorted yourself out once and for all, give us a bell" - Carlos Libertine.

GO SUCK YOUR MAMA : piss off.

GO WITH THE BOY WHO LICKS HIS PLATE : a little advice for those sweet, sweet virgin girls out there. Should you be undecided as to which lucky boy shall get to do the business, follow this tried and trusted creed, which should be passed on by every mother.

Tangentially - and without wishing to go all Bongo-Bongo about it - there are tribes in Africa for whom the "dry hump" is akin to a delicacy, highly-prized to the extent that the "juicy" wife is seen as some sort of slattern. I'm sorry, but to me such a notion is pure yarbles.

GROCKLE : a tourist, an outsider. Funnily enough a phrase that first turfed up in the West Country, and is now used by Londoners to scoff at visitors from places like . . . the West Country. Yes, we have no scruples.

H

HARAMZADI : Indian for Bastard.

HE'S HAD HIS CHIPS : oh, it's always a he. He's finished. Done with. Over. Deceased. I want nothing more to do with. As David St Hubbins once said (rashly) of Nigel Tufnell, "We shall never work together again."

HIGHLY MIFFED : there is your simple miffed, as in pissed-off about whatever, and there's this notch up to eleven.

HOLD TIGHT : signature greeting of brothers and sisters across the pirate radio waves of London. It says hello, and it says goodbye.

H, L & S : abbrev. of Hook, Line and Sinker, and used to describe a person's gullibility. "He swallowed that H, L & S ... " First used by Baker & Kelly Upfront (aka the Two Dannies) - a football free-for-all packed with juicy anecdotes and scurrilous rumours, and quite simply the best radio sports show that I have ever heard. I fear I shall not hear its like again - but thanks to this fabulous website - The Internet Treehouse - you can hear some of what you may have missed!

A sample of its mad genius? What rushes upfront in my mind is the gay man who wrote in to the show detailing his private fantasies - fantasies based around his collection of Panini football cards of the leading stars of the day (the mid-90s). His letter went something like this:

John Spencer is the bit of rough from the building site, and I imagine us sharing a shower after he comes home from work, all covered in sweat. Steve McMananman is more the gentle, touchy-feely type, and we just cuddle up together on the bed. Big Duncan Ferguson is another kettle altogether; he's very dominant and takes no nonsense and punishes me hard in the bedroom. Last but by no means least there's Jamie Redknapp: I have 'spares' of other players that I'm willing to swap, but I'd never swap the two I have of him. He's too precious.
If that's the kind of stuff that floats your boat (as opposed to the usual "the ref was a disgrace ... blather) then you can sense what you missed.

Incidentally, both presenters now take the shilling at BBC Radio London (94.9 FM) - Danny Kelly hosting a rather more prosaic sports show than the meisterwork of old (and I'm pretty sure he's also something big and important with Football365); meanwhile Danny Baker has reverted to the tried and trusted (though I find it tiresome) zoo format.

ADDENDUM: perhaps I was a little harsh to call Danny Kelly's latest show 'prosaic' - given that this very evening (September 6) he's been on the phone to a real Viennese quack who proscribes a drug called Horny to various football teams; apparently England have turned down an offer of supplies while the Austrian and Polish national teams - among others - have gobbled them up. That little item was followed by a vox pop concerning who should be in goal for England: opinions being taken from customers in the Blue Pirate, a renowned sex shop in Soho. (Apparently, the standard 6" dildo remains the bestseller - so guys, no need to be so fretful.)

I

I'M HERE TO TELL YOU : used as a way of emphasising a point, often a bit of knowledge gained from bitter experience. As a female acquaintance recently remarked to me: "I'm here to tell you that Colin Farrell is a fucking freak, because Dublin is full of mingers."

IN BITS : one of too many entries for my liking that stray into footballer-speak, but it's new(ish), it's still in use, so it's in. It comes up in back (and nowadays, front) page exclusives wherein, say, one Jason Burke confesses how "the unjust stigma surrounding all of us because of the notorious 'Seven-Up' incident left me and my family in bits ..."

Come to think of it surely some sensitive singer-songwriter (I know - the phrase is a hackneyed oxymoron) out there shall use it soon for a new release. Courtesy of Seven - and subsequently Evan Dando's rollicking Six - we've had "Gwyneth's head in a box" so why not Coldplay In Bits? And the thought of that should be capable of brightening up your darkest day.

ADDENDUM : a day or so after entering this phrase, I read Vladimir Nabokov's short story Scenes from the Life of a Double Monster. There's a point where the narrator, a conjoined twin - the brothers are wilfully paraded as freaks by their parents for beer money - remembers the pivotal moment that his 'other half' Lloyd "picked up a twig and drew a ship with three masts in the dust". Then they attempt to gain their freedom ... He's a tough ie tough to the core writer (for instance, Nabokov had no time for what he saw as the mawkishness of Crime and Punishment); the story is tough to the core too. And it had me in bits by the end.

J


JACKALS
: out of the wonderful Swingers movie where "you're so money and you don't know it" Mikey hands over the food ordered by Trent and Sue. "Eat that, you jackals." So, a term of affection, sometimes ... and other times not.

JUDAS : once yelled by some demented northern commoner at Bob Dylan during a now fabled concert in Manchester in 1966, but now flung at anyone who flies in the face of loyalty (or pretty much any other of the old moral standards).

It's particularly prevalent among football fans: it's a rare weekend that sees no Judas figure returning to the club he once left, and receiving untold abuse when he did what they would have done knowing that (a) that club were/are shite; (b) another club, usually hated rivals, offered a considerable increase in sponduliks; and (c) said new club is known to get the best spit-roasts in town.

See also Lion Judas.

JUICY : when records sound right ie on vinyl, as opposed to the dry, cured ham of most CDs. "That was Spoon by Can, original 7" - that's why it sounds so juicy."

K

KIPPERS FOR BREAKFAST : when a lady loves a lady, she prefers kippers for breakfast.

L


(A) LARGE SPLODGE OF WONGA
: my, oh my. As I enter this poor old Mark Thatcher is in the news (and in jail or out on bail) after falling for a supposed opportunity to trouser a large splodge of wonga down in Bongo-Bongo land. If he's half as wealthy as he claims he is (let alone the higher numbers posted by others), why he's such a mug punter can only be ascribed to greed.

Then again, his nickname at Harrow was "Thickie Mork"; of late he's been known as "Scratcher". And, if memory serves, around the time - or soon after - the Iron Lady suffered her coup d'etat her son was said to be over in the Persian Gulf harassing sundry Arab oil merchants as it was "time to pay for mumsy".

Oh, there's no mistake about it: he's a shit of the first water.

ADDENDUM : Have no fear - the judgement above is beyond query. But this piece nails that the phrase was in fact used by Thickie's jailed ex-Etonian buddy. The piece is by George Monbiot - a real "Let me land one on" case, high up on my list. But you know how it can be: sometimes your enemy's enemy needs must become your friend - for a moment.

As a means to resolving who has the right to claim the title of the white Tariq Ali, ("No, I hate the Americans more than you do") I picture Mon B and John Pilger slugging it out over pre-prandials at the roof bar of some war-torn zone's International Hilton. I suggest they should settle it by comparing the quality of the weave of their respective cream linen 'TV neutral' suits. (My wonga's on John P.)

LIBERATED : just as there are countless millions living under the dictatorial genocidal cosh out there in Bongo-Bongo land, so there are countless millions of €s, £s, and $s worth of consumer goods begging to be liberated from their unbearably stuffy shop environs. You know, it would be cruel not to . . .

LICK-IT-BACK : or, as Craiiig Daviiid puts it on Bo! Selecta, "Can I get a rewiiind?" Used by radio DJs to effuse just how fucking awesome a particular track is. Best said quickly.

"Are you feeling it?"

"Yeah, I'm feeling it."

"Lets' lick-it-back one mo time."

On reflection, oh dear. Appy polly loggies everybody, I've just made it sound totally wank haven't I?

LINE OF BEAUTY : Gak - after that talented queer bastard Hollinghurst.

LION JUDAS : Exhibit A: Paul Ince parading on the back pages of the Morning Lark in a Man Utd top, while still being paid to play for West Ham. The original, and still the best.

B: Sol Campbell. Is he a cockmuncher? Who knows? (This year's GCSE in Eng Lit featured this dilemma thus: "Discuss in relation to Richard III. 40% = Grade A.") But he is a Lion Judas in scurrying for glory from Spurs to the Arse.

And of course we all await C: when Stevie "Bricklayer's crop" Gerrard slinks across to Man Utd, joining his old mate Wayne "Mature Cheddar" Rooney. Rooney a Judas? Nah, he was just applying simple common sense.

LOVE YOU TO BITS : appalling football(er)-speak used by T & E pissheads, professing their brotherly love. Necks are often ensnared by arms at the same time. Such talk is pure yarbles - at all times. Don't believe a word of it.

LUCKY : some of us believe in the talent moat: essentially you get where you get depending on how good you are at what you do. Others ...

Others feel the full, frank outrageous fortunes and misfortunes of life are too much, and pronounce that someone who's made it (meaning they've coined it in) is plain lucky. As in "That JK Rowling? She's lucky." (The word needs to be said as if it's a swear word denoting disgust - else, as in JK's case, it just becomes a droll statement of fact.)

M


MA DI CHORD
: Indian for motherfucker.

MAN BREASTS : I confess. No, not that; I confess that this is in solely because the Word Spy link here acknowledges the tribal leader: arise Sir George Costanza. Come now, don't act like you don't know what they are . . .

MENTAL PATIENTS : and still on the mammaries, apparently this term refers to a pair of weird tits. And I mean weird, not just slightly askew in size - that, dear boys, is the norm.

MODERATE ARABS : denoting a country (or group/race/breed of people) who only keep a grudge for, say, 400 years.

MONGREL HOURS : those dead hours of late afternoon where the move (to the bottle, my friends!) a little too early can cost you dearly. To wit: Sir Kingsley Amis' maxim that the effect of an amount of alcohol drunk before say, 6pm is like drinking double that amount in one go at ten to six.

That said, others have flaunted this 'rule' and flourished. William Burroughs' routine was to take cocktails at 4pm each day. (Okay, so he did shoot his wife, but think of the work. The works!)

MOVERS & SHAKERS : an interesting point with this one is how it's used. Among those who genuinely are movers and shakers (eg a part of the arts establishment) this is a term of mutual approbation. Back down among the hoi polloi it's a term of contempt for the cunts who haven't got a clue what is actually any good and what stinks the place out. Hence some right rank movies, shows, television and music.

MUCK : pure filth, rubbish. The following exchange actually took place - and I know, because I had to try to deal with it:

"Those films you like ... "

"Yeah, you mean the Godfathers, and Goodfellas, and Mean Streets, and -"

- "Yeah, those. They're all muck. Muck. The only one who makes films that are any good is Spielberg, and even he's gone off."

MUG PUNTER : well . . . you're here aren't you? Easy customers.

MUPPET : an idiot (see above!); or someone incapable of doing the job they're supposed to be doing. As such, it's frequently used by men when watching England play football. In America, of late I hear it has entered the daily lexicon at Shea Stadium. Where have you gone, Gary Carter?

N


NETTO
: almost exclusively the verbiage of Chelsea fans, after the infamous demand made by then (player -) manager Ruud Gullit that his increase in salary be netto ie the amount he trousers after tax. So: try it on your boss next time you're in talks. Also in use as a derogotary swipe at some piffling amount 'earned' - the full snarky "Was that netto then?"

NEVER TRUST A MAN WITH TWO FIRST NAMES : okay, not strictly street argot, but a piece of infinite wisdon worth passing around. Admit it: just a little contemplation asserts its verisimilitude. Funnily enough, I first heard this said by Clive James. So it could well be a real old yarble. Should the living legend ever visit here, I say: Oi! Get off your fat arse and sort out that no-show of a website of yours. And get back to being serious, like From the Land of Shadows. Unreliably yours, blah blah blah.

NEVER TRUST A PONYTAIL : come on, this is a fact jacked. Fucking obvious. Need I begin a list?

"NEWS GRAVY" : some days, some weeks are simply slow news days; others - an air crash, a breaking political scandal, a fresh famine, 9/11 - are pure News Gravy. Legend has it that this phrase was first uttered by Michael Buerck ("My name is the name of the game") to cameraman John Slot, on the rooftop bar of the International Hilton in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 1984. The rest is as they say . . . News Gravy.

NIGHTFIGHTER(S) : coined by Frank Sinatra back in the Rat Pack daze, now the currency of the Lower Thames. Nightfighters literally fight the night through til dawn; often this is done with the use of nightfighters - hey, to quote the great man himself, "Whatever helps you make it through the night".

Not that ol' blue eyes was that keen on anything bar cigarettes and alcohol; still, this is a man who used to bathe his sore feet in whisky, so we should forgive him everything - even 'duetting' with Bono and desecrating the immortal I've Got You Under My Skin. (Though we should never forgive that Irish twerp for said offence, one of a long, long, long list.)

the NUTS : excellence. The Dog's. A phrase popular in the city, and its current popularity may be something to do with its usage in poker. Well, you tell me.

O


OFF MY FACE
: what happens when you are a very naughty boy or girl . . . There's also off my head . . . and now:

(WELL) OFF MY TROLLEY : pretty much ditto to off my face. I think the Manc Meister Sir Mark E Smith uses this phrase in the ditty British People In Hot Weather. Nah, don't play it round Paula Radcliffe's for a while.

OFF THE BONE : a favourite in theatrical circles, I do believe. Used to describe a performance of pure ham-hammmery, completely over the top. "Oh, she's always off the bone . . . " - and that she is, of course, quite often a he. Where would be without them?

ON A MISSION : as in "tonight boys, I'm really going for it - I am on a mission"; subsequent to this declaration, you often get the "look at [name], he is on a mission".

P


PEARS
: used as in "that's your day/life/season - pear-shaped". It's often a suitable touch to offer said fruit as a gift when someone else's world goes tits up.

POLO : from rhyming slang, polo mint = skint (thanks to JC!)

PORCELAIN ALTAR : the only place I - occasionally - worship.


R


(THERE'S A) RANDY BULL IN THE TOP PADDOCK
: somewhat inspired by the randy bull scene in Withnail & I, this refers to (a) the effects of a serious amount of alcohol and the donning of beer goggles; and (b) the subsequent humdinger of a hangover.

RATHER LARGE : we can thank John Thomson (and, dare I admit, the filth from the News of the Screws) for this. (See Pure London Yarbles, August 23, 2004 for story.) He used it as a sign of appreciation for the lines that had just been racked out for him. And, judging by the zoom lens pic, they were indeed rather large . . . The lucky bastard.

RETARDED : when someone or something really pisses you off, it's a fairly decent indecent way of making how you feel clear. An example from my life: "Starsailor? Starsailor? Fuck off a minute. They are retarded. And no further questions, your honour."

RUGGER-BUGGER : any Englishman who takes the game of Rugby remotely seriously. The Welsh, Jocks and Paddies can be forgiven - they know no better, and don't have the obvious massive alternative of a ball that bounces properly. And I suppose one must forgive Englishwomen too - the fact is, football is way too graceful for their needs ie they are searching for the other when they look upon the testosterone land of sweat.

Yes. O yes. I speak as I find. Rugger-buggers: they tend to identify their indelible wankery by wearing their collars up. What the Fuck is that all about?

But you know what? The awful thing, the really awful thing is...that I've met loads of said types and they are so terribly terribly nice. And almost always loaded. And before you know it, you're supping wine out of pint glasses and finishing off each other's favourite lines from Withnail & I.

RUSSIAN WATER : vodka. Drink in this moment recollected in a review of a recent gig by the living legend that is Edwyn Collins:

"Collins is on beaming form: he stops songs to deliver anecdotes, offer a member of the audience 50p to safeguard his plectrum, knock the Libertines, tap-dance and sip other people's drinks. "It tastes Russian,"

Knocking the Libertines? Much as I like Edwyn's work, that's a little rich.

S


SEX WEE
: another gem courtesy of Bo! Selecta, this phrase comes up when a decent bit of bed fluff appears or is mentioned on the show. What is it? It's a sex wee. "Halle Berry, she makes me want to do a sex wee."

SHAMPOO : champers, dear boys and girls. Old hat, but here just so I can include Francis Bacon's celebrated toast: "Champagne for my real friends; real pain for my sham friends."

SHE DIDN'T SEEM TO MIND : said with heavy irony after some sensible type tells you to fuck off.

SHEDLOAD : as in "I've had a shedload tonight, baby, and I wanna break down your back door."

SHE LIKES YOU : meaning exactly the fucking opposite my friends.

SHERBERTS : drinks, as in "Fancy a few sherberts after work?" "Yeah, why not? My head's still spinning from lunch and I'm afraid more is the only known cure."

SHOCKER : as in "I've had a shocker". A sad case of being very much the worse for wear after way too many sherberts, and every known booster has been used up.

ADDENDUM : perusing the Encyclopedia of Sex, I saw this entry:

Shocker, the (noun): the act of slipping one's middle and index finger in a woman's vagina, while simultaneously slipping the pinky into her anus in a thrusting motion. The pinky is supposedly the "shocking" part.

SICK AS A PIKE : self-explanatory - pure yarbles, pure genius, pure Withnail & I. All bow down and salute Bruce Robinson, screenwriter extraordinaire - even if a harsh mistress would call him a one-hit wonder.

SKIING : apparently this is what you're doing if you're in the (fortunate) position of wanking off two cocks at once, one in either hand. There was a recent Bo! Selecta sketch which had "George Michael" using just such a term to describe his LA adventures.

Though I am (like the 'dead blonde' Lady D) partial to a bit of fresh snow (oh, you don't think she was so? Well, check out Will Self's banned obituary to her in Feeding Frenzy) I have never been skiing. Well, not since school. And no further questions. Issue closed.

the SKINNY : yes, an American import. As it suggests, the skinny is the essential element(s) of any new story, fad, idea etc. Perversely in the world of show, the American experience leads one to conclude that the thinner the celebrity, the juicier the skinny. And let's face it, some of them are little more than a bag of bones.

SNARKY : another American fetish in blog land - and elsewhere. Kinda bitchy to the max; snide with added sarcam. We shouldn't adopt it . . . but you know we will.

SOPPING : it has been known for a girl on a night out to turn round and declare to a friend, "I'm sopping. Absolutely sopping wet."

SPANISH MEASURES : when the drinks - especially spirits - are on the generous side. But also now with the corollary that the seemingly large drink is in fact watered-down, and a waste of a drink - and your dosh.

SPASTIC : very un-PC, and very Alan Clark. Meaning a useless, pathetic person or idea. As AC had a habit of putting it about: "Why's that spastic in charge of Defence? He hasn't got a fucking clue."

SPAZZ : yes, I confess, there is something of the old school playground in this yarble. But my argument is that the term was resuscitated somewhat by Lars Von Trier's wonderful Idiots, where a commune "spazzes up" to reveal society's queasy patronage towards the disabled - oops, differently abled.

But I also like to use spazzy to descibe how someone/something goes tits up - or as TV legend has it, the talent "jumps the shark". Examples? When someone like Bob Dylan - or earlier, Evelyn Waugh - gets religion big time . . . and it's bye bye wit with a jaunty eye for a while or for ever (i.e. what the fuckers are really good at), as the worlds needs putting right . . .

And let's not deny the base, the coarse sense: to wit the Daily Mirror's current insistence on a two dot (. .) ellipsis as opposed to the traditional . . . Well, that's pure spazzery, and no mistake.

STRAWBERRIES : oh when the sun is out and the fruit is ripe . . . Hmmm. Well, hmmm. They're teen tits. Tits on a teen. Strawberries. And who doesn't adore strawberries? I've also seen them referred to as "strawberry tops". Okay then, for an example (and what an example) click here you jackals. Oh, what the hell, you may as well click here too.

SWIMMERS : shaven heads, and all that follows in the wash. Update: as a little added bonus, I hear - from someone who knows someone who knows - that the darling of Australian sports Ian Thorpe (the Thorpedo) is a swimmer all the way down the fucking line. Apparently, his close friends address him as Muriel. Or, jack this: he speaks good French, and he gives good French.

PS: Actually, as I rip this entry, the Olympics are on, so here are the Thorpedo's tips for the trip. BTW, his feet size is 17 - yes, seventeen - and you know what they say about a guy with big flippers.

T


TAKING THE SHILLING
: classic examples abound of a once great, possibly even still great, or a coulda shoulda been great talent bending over (metaphorically) for big bucks. And never mind the stench. Basically we're talking Marlon Brando after Godafther. But it applies to lesser lights too. Right now, for instance, there's Joely Richardson scrubbing up in Nip/Tuck. In her case, I guess we can say that she's kissing the Benjamins . . .

THALIDOMIDE : used when folding a crap hand at cards. "I'm out. Thalidomide."

THRAPPING THE BEAN : as in "What you been doing all day then, girl?" "I've been thrapping the bean . . . until I hit the wank wall.

T & E : tired and emotional. Usually drink is involved. Scratch that: drink is always involved.

TITS UP : when everything goes wrong.

TITTY TOUGH : we're talking hard luck, baby. Deal with it.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION : as in "No, it's okay, Your Royal Highness, I have no further interest in how much blood pudding scuttled its way down into oblivion this morning."

TOP BANANA : kind of old hat now, a little soiled by overuse, but still around. The thing is, you never get called a top banana by anybody who is your top banana. That's the way it is, baby. But I still prefer - much prefer - it to the tired and emotional football speak of love you to bits. That fucker really has to go.

TOXIC BACHELOR : another entry gleaned from Word Spy. I dithered some before slipping it in, as I'm not sure this phrase has ever taken off here in the Holy Smoke. I mean, do you know one who isn't one? 'Toxic' is redundant - at least in my circs.

TROUSERED : A bunch of crisp ones. "Thank you very much, that'll do me. Trousered." Also, one must be careful, as trousered can also mean pissed, and the old trouser is the old fellow.

TURN UP THE BOOSTERS : when you're dead, and you're only halfway through the typical weekend marathon of excess, there's only one thing to do to make it through: turn up those boosters!

TWINK(S) : a fresh young thing, just like my latest twinks over in Pure London Yarbles. If you haven't been there, go there at once! Otherwise, back in boring old real life it's a fact jacked that twinks are awfully fond of wearing Abercrombie & Fitch, and hanging out in an A&F store.* And you should see what they like to do to each new A&F catalogue . . .

*Of course, at present London is bereft - positively bereft - of an A&F heaven. Still, a catalogue is just a few online clicks away.

TWONK : an idiot, a wanker of the first water.

TWUNT : a nifty little convergence of twat and cunt which allows you to rest the 'c' word that still seems just little bit too aggressive for public use - or is that just my oversensitive ears? Indeed, am I being a twunt?

V


VALIUM ROCK
: see also Gay Brother Music. Step forward the whole "Quiet Is The New Loud" schmoovement of 2000-01 that was blown out of the water by the glorious double whammy of the White Stripes and the Strokes. However, remnants have survived, and some might say that the biggest bands in the world are VR. Don't be alarmed: such taste is not an STD - yet.

I should add that in London there is the corollary factor of Valium FM - a term coined by Jonathan King after he first heard the then new Virgin radio service. Now this term applies with ease not only to Virgin but to vast swathes of the airwaves. Daytime radio? There's Robert "Dutch" Elms on Radio London 94.9FM (noon till three) - and that's it. The rest is pure yarbles.

Of course, I'm pretty sure that none of these stations have realised that they are living on borrowed time; soon the whole idea of a mass of people listening to the same thing at the same time shall disappear for ever.

ADDENDUM : there's a self-styled "rawk chick" at my shoulder telling me that Eric Matthews is VR or GBM. No he is not. He is the brother I never had. This will cost me: she is not fixing her hair, she's taking off her belt . . .

W


the WANK WALL
: well boys and girls, one can only have fun for so long before one hits the wank wall. First mentioned on Bo! Selecta, the 'wall' is said to be seven. Fairly recently, Will "entertainer of the year" Young cited an ambition to - ahem - beat his own personal best of six in one day.

Well, I'm here to tell you that Coathanger face Will just wasn't trying . . .

WHAT GOES ON TOUR STAYS ON TOUR : a simple and obvious mantra, mainly but not exclusively for gentleman. Ladies reading this will either guffaw - or go all coy, but I've seen the alchemy of a shedload of booze so, so many times.

There is a moral code, and the moral here is this: essentially, what you don't know doesn't hurt you. For example, what good will it really do your prospective wife to hear the tale of how you snorted lines of coke off a Czech whore's tits?

Incidentally, for those who want to be in the know, Prague was last year (so last year), Budapest was this, and next year the toxic hordes give the fringe benefits of their new found wealth to Tallinn and Riga. How anyone can claim that we British are anti-Europe is beyond me.

WHEELS : your wheels, your motor, your car. Here we spin them, over in San Francisco I hear they have to 'curb' them.

WIFEBEATER : a way of life. Simply opting for Stella: "What are you having?" "Oh, a Wifebeater, please." I suppose I should explain the why: because of its staunch 5% alcohol level, drinking several Stellas in a row will lend oneself to going home and beating up the missus.

Its synonomous with Stella alone, even though, as we all know, there are several 'strong' 5%+ lagers out there. And I should add that there is a Real Ale equivalent of Stella: Chapman's Peculiar. Then again, that little bit of info may well be . . . pure yarbles.

the WORLD OF SHOW : wherein so, so many of the nefarious activities adumbrated within this site take place. And I think I can quote the line from Penny Lane (one half of the greatest AA single of all time, people) as it applies to all Londoners (and I'd argue that New Yorkers and Berliners complete the exclusive trinity):

" . . . She feels as if she's in a play
She is anyway"

Y

YARBLES : bollocks. This and a whole caboodle of other steals from Anthony Burgess' Clockwork Orange are available here. Burgess himself was one of the last of the famous international polymaths - and a great thieving magpie in his own write.

YOU'RE A STAR : as in "Your behaviour has been totally spiffing . . . You really are a true friend."

Obviously somewhat superfluous if you actually are a star. Yet another instance of how such benighted lives must be very, very confusing. Maybe this is one reason why Rachel "I am not watered-down Goldfrapp" Stevens cannot find 'true love'. Or maybe this is Max "I do it all for my beloved crippled child" Clifford doing his finest to convince us that she's straight, when all along she prefers kippers for breakfast.

Z


ZUCCHINI GIRL
: used as in "She's a bit partial to zucchini . . . " meaning some educated metropolitan sort who likes to potter around her kitchen of an evening. Yes: that kitchen.

You see a chick in a supermarket with a bottle of wine/vodka etc and some packed-fresh zucchini at the checkout? Yes? Have a guess how she's relaxing as soon as she gets home . . .

And there are of course plenty of Zucchini Boys.

Completely made up? Possibly.