The MN meaning of Liff

(337 Posts)

Douglas Adams and John Lloyd wrote a book called The Meaning of Liff that used existing place names to give names to commonly recognised feelings, experiences and objects that didn't already have a word for them.

For example:

Cotterstock - a piece of wood used to stir paint and thereafter stored uselessly in a shed in perpetuity.

I was thinking last night, as I stood behind my 3.5 year old daughter sort of herding/hooshing her upstairs to the bath avoiding a variety of potential distractions, there ought to be a word for this.

And then I thought, there are probably loads of commonly recognised parenting phemonema that could be 'Liffed'.

I browsed google maps this morning and came up with the following place name/ definition combos but would love to know yours too...

Kirtling - benign kettling required to keep small child going in the direction you need them to.

Poxwell - act of knowingly covering up of active chicken pox spots in order to make a quick dash into shop for milk or make an international plane flight home.

Ousden - constant flow of greeny/silver snot from small boys, the trail said snot leaves on the shoulders of all of your clothes; 'ooh, hang on, you've got a bit of ousden on that shirt'.

I am sure there must be good definitions for:

Two Mile Bottom
Throop
Weeley
Little Clacton and Great Clacton

And good place names for:

The poo that takes out an entire outfit.

The child-related objects (spare pants, raisins, playmobile duchesses) that fall out of your handbag in important business situations.

The face that teenagers pull when you suggest a healthy walk after lunch.

CookieMonster2 Thu 12-May-11 14:42:07

Great Clacton is the noise my DS makes when he is hungry but I tell him its nearly tea time so he should wait.

I love this thread.

MyMonkeyNeedsMe Thu 12-May-11 14:42:30

Surely the poo explosion will be Shitterton? grin

Euphemia Thu 12-May-11 14:48:18

How about:

Tibbers - The child-related objects (spare pants, raisins, playmobile duchesses) that fall out of your handbag in important business situations.

Tillicoultry - all the utensils and knick-knacks that clutter up your kitchen drawers.

Scrabster - the debris you find when you pull the bed away from the wall.

Gartly - the way you walk when you just tripped over something and you know everyone's looking at you.

GentleOtter Thu 12-May-11 14:51:02

Scrabster is the owner of the football which has been kicked into your dahlias.

GentleOtter Thu 12-May-11 14:51:39

scrabster x-post. grin

piginmuck Thu 12-May-11 15:02:10

Undy in Monmouthshire for spare pants!

GentleOtter Thu 12-May-11 15:07:09

Achnashellach - the effort required to shift stubborn phlem after a nasty cold.

Weeley The behaviour adopted by littlemad when he knows he's in trouble, he knows I know what he did and he's killing time while he waits for sword of damocles to fall in the hope that loving behaviour will somehow lessen the blow.

Euphemia Thu 12-May-11 15:27:21

Ecclefechan - What you say when you drop an iced bun on the floor, icing side down.

Oh some lovely ones there. grin at Shitterton and Gartly.

I'd like to add Chatteris - the unrelenting stream of consciousness talking coming from the back seat of the car which, though seemingly harmless, eventually causes you to drive into the back of other cars at traffic lights.

Wallace Thu 12-May-11 16:09:24

Great idea for a thread grin

Honeydragon Thu 12-May-11 16:12:13

Shilbottle The cheap own brand of Calpol / Squash / Own brand sauce / supermarket biscuits that you bought to save money, and they refuse to put in their mouths at all. Yet it continues to sit in the cupboard taking up space as you can't bring yourself to bin it or use it yourself.

Every home has a Shilbottle somewhere.

Euphemia Thu 12-May-11 16:30:27

Beith - the bits of meat stuck between your teeth after you've had Sunday dinner.

Knockbrex - pants that crawl up your cludge every time you wear them.

Clackmannan - the sound of your bare thighs slapping together when you sit down in a steamroom.

Abinger Hammer - a piece of duplo used in anger

Honeydragon - Love it!!

LucretiaInShadows Thu 12-May-11 17:46:50

Raunds - unfortunate digestive complaint

Ringstead - itchy, unsightly skin disorder

Euphemia - I have a depressing familiarity with Clackmannan. grin

Fimbo Thu 12-May-11 17:49:18

Liff is where the deranged used to go in my home town.

Fimbo Thu 12-May-11 17:50:25

Lochearnhead. Surely when you are at loggerheads with someone.

Trinaluce Thu 12-May-11 18:29:12

Euphemia Tillicoultry is already taken (The man-to-man chumminess adopted by an employer as a prelude for telling an employee that he's going to have to let him go.) As is Scrabster (One of those dogs which has it off on your leg during tea.) - and Clackmannan I'm afraid! (The sound made by knocking over an elephant's-foot umbrella stand full of walking sticks. Hence name for a particular kind of disco drum riff.)

Lucretia Whereabouts in the country are you? Both of those are near where I used to live...

Achiltibuie (n): The stifled expletive you utter when you tread on a Lego brick in bare feet but can't ACTUALLY swear because DC is right next to you.

Nether Burrow (n): The tunnel your DC is digging to Australia - right in the middle of the only patch of flowers you've actually managed to convince to grow.

Kelk (n): The unidentified sludge found on your DC (usually the face). You don't want to know what it is or was, all you know is that it won't come off.
Little Kelk (n): 'Kelk' that will shift with a little spit and thumb-scrbbing
Great Kelk (n): An advanced state of 'Kelk', the removal of which can only be achieved by bathing and the use of sandpaper and dettol.

(My personal favourite from the original work has to be Kettering (n): The marks left on your bottom or thighs after sunbathing on a wickerwork chair.)

My favourite bit from the book (which is IMO one of the funniest things ever written) is the corridor section.

CORRIEARKLET (n.)
The moment at which two people approaching from opposite ends of a long passageway, recognise each other and immediately pretend they haven't. This is to avoid the ghastly embarrassment of having to continue recognising each other the whole length of the corridor.

CORRIECRAVIE (n.)
To avert the horrors of corrievorrie (q.v.) corriecravie is usually employed. This is the cowardly but highly skilled process by which both protagonists continue to approach while keeping up the pretence that they haven't noticed each other - by staring furiously at their feet, grimacing into a notebook, or studying the walls closely as if in a mood of deep irritation.

CORRIEDOO (n.)
The crucial moment of false recognition in a long passageway encounter. Though both people are perfectly well aware that the other is approaching, they must eventually pretend sudden recognition. They now look up with a glassy smile, as if having spotted each other for the first time, (and are particularly delighted to have done so) shouting out 'Haaaaaallllloooo!' as if to say 'Good grief!! You!! Here!! Of all people! Will I never. Coo. Stap me vitals, etc.'

CORRIEMOILLIE (n.)
The dreadful sinking sensation in a long passageway encounter when both protagonists immediately realise they have plumped for the corriedoo (q.v.) much too early as they are still a good thirty yards apart. They were embarrassed by the pretence of corriecravie (q.v.) and decided to make use of the corriedoo because they felt silly. This was a mistake as corrievorrie (q.v.) will make them seem far sillier.

CORRIEVORRIE (n.)
Corridor etiquette demands that one a corriedoo (q.v.) has been declared, corrievorrie must be employed. Both protagonists must now embellish their approach with an embarrassing combination of waving, grinning, making idiot faces, doing pirate impressions, and waggling the head from side to side while holding the other person's eyes as the smile drips off their face, until with great relief, they pass each other.

CORRIEMUCHLOCH (n.)
Word describing the kind of person who can make a complete mess of a simple job like walking down a corridor.

Will see if I can think of any of my own.

GooGooMuck Thu 12-May-11 18:50:55

Marking my place. Op you are a genius grin

GooGooMuck Thu 12-May-11 18:52:36

Lumbertubs: Pseudo-IKEA subtandard toy storage.

Bethersden - the kind of duvet/eiderdown which always slides off the bed in the night.

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