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I was rather taken aback last week when one of my more erudite and well travelled followers did not understand the word ‘faff.’ Someone else fell at the fence ‘jimjams.’ So here we go again as I attempt to explain English as a foreign language. To English speakers.

A word of warning. One of these is a complete fabrication, and all three definitions are hence wrong.


  1. Talk arrant nonsense
  2. Waste or offcuts of no use whatsoever
  3. Surplus to requirements


  1. Tobacco
  2. To witter on
  3. Proper, correct, spot on


  1. Bad tempered
  2. Smelly
  3. A traveller or (incorrectly) a gypsy


  1. Extremely drunk
  2. Beaten up in a fight
  3. Profoundly smitten with a person of the opposite sex


  1. A dunce, dimwit
  2. To fumble. Especially a soccer goalie
  3. Fall off a pair of suicidally high stilletto shoes

Dilligaf (occasionally dilligas)

  1. A discrete, non-toxic fart
  2. Verb, to faff about, act ineffectually
  3. Insouciant, unfazed by adverse circumstances


  1. Unable to add up
  2. Acting without the need to think, on autopilot
  3. The way your dad dances

Take boggatt

  1. Race around in an uncontrolled runaway fashion
  2. Become very afraid
  3. Get annoyed, take umbrage

Pull a wire

  1. A ‘relief ‘massage
  2. Annoy, similar to pull someone’s chain or rattle their bars
  3. Suddenly change behaviour


  1. All girl one hit wonder band in the 1970s
  2. A vulgar but inoffensive euphemism for a lady’s naughty bits
  3. Women out on the town to pull. Similar to blart

And the answers are:

Gash. Both 2 and 3 are correct. Useless offcuts (which you nevertheless store in perpetuity ‘in case they might be handy’), or simply surplus to requirements

Salmon. Number 1. Tobacco, especially in the context of rolling a spliff. Rhyming slang. Salmon and trout=snout=tobacco

Pikey. Number 3. A traveller who tries to sell you lucky white heather while his mates steal your lawnmower and anything else in the shed while your attention is elsewhere

Wassocked. Number 1. Sideways drunk

Bobble. Number 2

Dilligaf (also Dilligas). Number 3. Acronym for Do I look like I give a f***

Rithmatic None of the above. I made it up

Pull a wire Sudden behaviour change. Usually in a compound form. ‘I dunno what happened. One minute he was fine, next it was like someone pulled a wire in his head, and he went mental.’

Clout. All 3 are correct. In sense 1, the one hit was a song called ‘Substitute,’ and I have to admit I rather liked it.