By this I don’t mean a teen suffering from existential angst and becoming an emo. It’s a word I hear a lot round where I live, but I’ve never heard it anywhere else in the UK. That’s not to say it doesn’t get an airing elsewhere, but Essex is its second home, with Lahndan being its native habitat.

It’s a bit of an oddity, in that the meaning is heavily nuanced. With, say, hot, in the criminal as opposed to sexual sense, you know where you stand. There’s no room for misinterpretation. The stuff you steal from Hatton Garden in a blag that made the headlines is hot. The End.

Moody, though. That’s a different kettle of fish. It’s shorthand for something of uncertain provenance.

It might be a fake. That Abercrombie & Fitch hoodie you bought off that dodgy geezer in the pub for a fiver is almost certainly fake, isn’t it? In this case it’s moody because it’s not real.

However, it can be applied to something you think has been stolen, that in all probability fell off the back of a lorry or was assisted out of somebody else’s pocket or house, but you don’t know for sure. If the hoodie had been appropriated, it would then be moody. It could even be a fake that was subsequently stolen, and that would make it really seriously moody.

Some time ago there was a vogue for shifty looking blokes (they tended to look like estate agents, which will always raise the warning flags) trying to flog ‘designer’ watches in the more remote areas of the carparks at motorway service areas. The claim was that the watches were unneeded stock after an exhibition. Anybody in their right minds knew they were moody, in the fake sense rather than the purloined sense.

On the other hand, if you’re at a carboot sale and see a watch that you know for a fact is worth a monkey (£500 for the uninitiated, ie those of you who don’t read my blog as often as you should), and you can get it for 25 quid, things aren’t quite so clear. If you know it’s not fake, it can’t be moody in that sense. But it might be moody in the lightfingered sense. Or it may just be the vendor hasn’t got a sodding clue what he’s doing.

This is where it gets even more nuanced, because if you buy it for a pony (£25) then sell it on, miraculously it’s definitely become a bit moody even if the vendor was clearly an idiot and the watch was, as they say round here, kosher. You’ve taken advantage of somebody, and made the watch a bit moody in doing so. Unless the vendor was an enemy, or somebody whom all your mates think is a bit of a tosser, in which case yer dannass all a favour san, dintcha?

I love my villain friends.

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