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.

chutneypig Thu 12-May-11 19:01:53

Plungar the sinking feeling when you realise that your children have worked out how to open the stairgate on their room.

Not that I've actually caught them at it, you understand, but the footfall is telling. And given they've been up there 90 minutes, that tells you quite how bad they've been today.

I love Chatteris.

MNHQ this HAS to go into Classics, brilliant thread!

Trinaluce - I think we're going to have to allow re-use of some of the place names. Adams and Lloyd have got a lot of the good ones. Though they do go international.

Love the Kelks; DD ended up with Great Kelk after a boiled egg for tea.

And Lumbertubs makes me smile.

MrsCuldesac Thu 12-May-11 19:28:24

Fovant the wobbly globe of foam you get when you've squirted washing up liquid under a fast kitchen tap.
Meavy feeling slightly unstable as you step off an escalator but have to keep going to keep up with the crowd
Crickleaze the series of sounds a saggy wicker chair makes after you've stood up
Micheldever a specialist screwdriver head used on one specific expensive item, that you can never find when you need it
Crugmeer an ugly garden tool used to grub about in unpleasant undergrowth

Mumbles - parents you only know by the name of their child.

Piddlehinton - the result of trampolining with a weak pelvic floor.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 12-May-11 19:37:48

Monks Toft: the sort of mohican hair you sometimes see on a very young baby.

Honeydragon Thu 12-May-11 19:37:51

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

Euphemia You've done the world a great service, finally I can look around, stand against a wall and sort out my knockbrex, thankyou grin.

ginmakesitallok Thu 12-May-11 19:38:04

Fimbo - you're near me then..... It's now full of overpriced houses

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 12-May-11 19:38:21

Penshaw The felt tip / crayon squiggles done on a wall when you aren't looking.
Seaham The thing that your DH comes home from the supermarket with when you specifically asked for nice ham.
Hutton Henry the sound the Hoover makes when there is Lego and tiny plastic toys stuck in the tube.

grin at KenDoddsDadsDog

OtheHugeManatee - love it!

MrsChemist Thu 12-May-11 19:55:29

Tockholes - The holes that appear in old pairs of underpants, due to wear and tear.

Terrington St John - the child you hope your son or daughter makes friends with at nursery.

Brent Park - the child your son or daughter wants to invite home for tea.

OTheHugeManatee Thu 12-May-11 21:14:11

Wrestlingworth - the judgement call you make about trying to make a toddler put its trousers on.

GentleOtter Thu 12-May-11 21:19:37

Ecchlefechan - the feeling that comes over you when you have just struggled getting a three year old dressed and in to the car then they need a poo.

Bellagio Thu 12-May-11 21:20:40

Shotts
those wee malteserish poos

ShouldersBackAndNoBiscuits Thu 12-May-11 21:22:53

kilbirnie the little bit of sunburnt skin that you were sure you had covered with factor 50 and feel hideously guilty about.

bearsden a construction made out of two kitchen chairs, a clothes airer and a spare duvet cover.

wilmslow the speed at which a toddler walks, which is inversely proportional to the speed at which you need to get somewhere.

Love this thread. Classic please MNHQ.

SpringHeeledJack Thu 12-May-11 21:24:26

I remember this book!

me and my sister still refer to stubborn unchewable bits in meat as Grimsbys

Springheeled Jack - :-) Kentucky has made it in to our family vocabulary:

KENTUCKY (adv.)
Fitting exactly and satisfyingly. The cardboard box that slides neatly into an exact space in a garage, or the last book which exactly fills a bookshelf, is said to fit 'real nice and kentucky'.

ziptoes Thu 12-May-11 21:35:00

DH and I actually have a placename definition for a poo that takes out an entire outfit - a boswell. named after the pub where it first happened.

miniwedge Thu 12-May-11 21:35:44

crapstone that awful feeling you get when you realise you are no longer young and nubile, more old and immobile....

ziptoes Thu 12-May-11 21:37:41

Eek - I have to add that the eponymous boswell ocurred in a pub with a nice beer garden and wiped out DS's outfit at about 8 months. I'd hate you to think that either DH or myself ever wiped out our own outfits with a boswell.

p.s. to qualify for true boswell status, you must have forgotten to bring a change of clothes for DC.

ziptoes Thu 12-May-11 21:40:43

Gartnavel discovering what the inside of your bellybutton looks like when you're pregnant.

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 12-May-11 21:44:52

grin at Boswell.

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