Tag Archives: wordplay

The Uxbridge English Dictionary

Phil: It’s Christmas and I’m not going to pretend that much writing work is taking place or that you are really in a state to make the best of any carefully crafted words dear reader. Instead, fill your glass, grab another mince pie from the plate and enjoy a few definitions from the Uxbridge English Dictionary.

For those who are wondering what I’m on about, this is a round from the popular Radio 4 panel game, “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue.”. Contestants have to provide new definitions for existing words. To be honest, most of these are bad puns but as writers, we love a bit of wordplay don’t we?

Abandon – Pub entertainment.

Abundance – Similar to Morris Dancing but with cakes instead of sticks.

Academy – School for Cads.

Adultery – What happens after puberty.

Apogee – How you describe yourself after too much Christmas dinner.

Beware – Clothing for bees.

Boycott – A bed for a young male child.

Busking – An owner of many buses.

Camiknickers – Camera thieves.

Canopy – Tin of urine

Cavendish – A bit like a cavern.

Constrain – A railway service for prisoners.

Descant – An ant with an office job.

Faculty – Cockney for running out of PG Tips

Fielding – To find a bell in the dark.

Forebears – Bad day for Goldilocks.

Gangster – A criminal pasty.

Mutant – An ant with no voice.

Offend – To circumcise.

Phantom – To waft air over a male cat.

Polygon – A deceased parrot.

Torture – Like a torch but more so.

Whisky – A bit like a whisk.

Wrench – A female spanner.

Zulu – A toilet at an animal park.

(If you enjoyed these, I pinched some of them from the Online Uxbridge English Dictionary or just listen to the programme and jot them down like I did)

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Puntastic

Marvin - the proper one from the TV series.Candice: Phil, being Phil, fancies the Pun Run,  ”the only pun and wordplay-based comedy club in the UK”

Phil: M’writing friend is not wrong. I love a good pun. In fact, like most writers, I really enjoy wordplay.

Next week I’m heading off to see “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show” which means an evening spent enjoying the wonderful writing of the late Douglas Adams. He was a man who enjoyed messing with the language to amuse the reader. Who else could have described a space ship thus?

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”

or the exchange

“What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?”

“Ask a glass of water!”

These aren’t jokes, but they are funny. Or at least I think they are.

Enjoying langauge is vital for writers and playing with it is an excellent way to get better at using it. In one corner of my life I spend my time trying to communicate to people the methods for making models. The problem with this is avoiding repetition. Sometimes you desperately strive to avoid repeating a word. In my head, using the same one twice in a sentence is a crime I’ll do my best not to commit. For this reason, I chose a thesaurus over a dictionary when offered the choice some time ago. I need more words!

I guess this might also explain my predilection for the Quick Crossword rather than the more elegant cryptic version. I can’t solve the later but really wish I could. As it is, the idea that I need to find a word that can replace the quick clue is irresistible, although I need practise to become any good and stand a chance of completing the grid.

Writers seem drawn to crosswords and other word puzzles. Maybe we have a larger vocabulary than mere mortals, I prefer to think it’s like muscle memory. If you exercise it, you gain strength and writing a book is hard work.

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