Dictionary Corner – by Catriona Cookson

If you’re looking for someone new to follow on Twitter, take a look at Susie Dent. Who’s she I hear you ask? Well, as she describes herself in her profile “ That Woman In Dictionary Corner” …….from Countdown. Oh yes, I hear you all say ….and who knew she has 365,000 followers !!

It’s a gem for lots of interesting and unusual words, and their meanings, and some of the recent ones are a real tonic:

Bloviator – someone who talks for hours and says nothing

Ultracrepidarian – an uninformed know – it – all.

We all know lots of these!

And if you’re thinking of toadying up to someone – do you know where that comes from? In 17th century markets, quacks would sell their “magic” medicines by having their assistants swallow a “poisonous” live toad and then be miraculously cured. So ….the toad eater is a fawning flatterer!

And my current favourite is hurkle – durkling – an 18th century Scottish term which means lounging in bed long after it’s time to get up! Hopefully, not too much of this happening if this lovely spring weather reappears.

Susie Dent

 


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