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Column 26th December 2018

A swerk warning to be on the lookout for roukers in 2019

As this is the week between Christmas and New Year, I decided to see out the old year in the Town where the first supporter of an English Language (King Alfred the Great) was born with a play on some words which are disappearing from our language.

So I have “corroded” (to scrape together; to gather together from various sources), a column which is a “gallimaufry” (a mishmash or jumble) of “arcane” (known or understood by very few) words to help you to get over your “woofits” (the unpleasant aftereffects of overindulgence, especially drinking) or “crapulous” (to feel ill from excessive eating or drinking) feelings.

By the time you have finished reading this column, you may be “awhape” (amazed, or utterly confounded) or feel the need to become “nizzled” (to be slightly intoxicated, to be worse for liquor; to be unsteady).

As someone who is a habitual “Momist” (a person who habitually finds fault, a harsh critic), I don’t want to “swerk” (to be or become dark; in Old English often, to become gloomy, troubled, or sad), or “twattle” (to gossip) but do want to remind you that there will be lots of “ruffing” (to swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out / to brag or boast of a thing) by our Councillors next spring in the lead-up to the Elections at the beginning of May.

Let’s hope that they don’t become “Roukers” (people who whisper or murmur, who spread tales or rumours) or Losengers (false flatterers, lying rascals, deceivers) and stick to the facts as they “assay” (attempt) to persuade you of their “veracity” (truthfulness) and demonstrate an “appetency” (a longing or desire) to represent you.

We all know “Lurdans" (idle or incompetent people), and “Sciolists” (people who pretend to be knowledgeable) but they shouldn’t be our representatives in the future.

I know that this column contains “perissology” (use of more words than are necessary; redundancy or superfluity of expression) and that I’ve been a “Blatherskite” (someone who talks too much) but hope that you have enjoyed my “balderdash” (from the 1590s, it was originally a jumbled mix of liquors (milk and beer, beer and wine, etc.), before being transferred in 1670s to ‘senseless jumble of words’) and I’ll try to get back to normal after becoming a “Vinipote” (a wine drinker) and having a “maffick” (to celebrate exuberantly and boisterously) New Year.

As King Alfred would have said: “Waes hael”.


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