The sequel to ‘Cafaurant’, and other portmanwoes

A previous post on the delectable or detestable (delete as applicable) use of the word Cafaurant in a quaint village of Lynton sparked up a healthy debate.

We thought that was the last word on the matter, until this.


Clearly, we live in hybrid times, where no word is safe from being surgically merged with another.

Another controversial one  is the word ‘Spork’. It makes my friend Mark really, really angry.

I spotted a bunch of the blighters for sale in Broadway Market the other day – and I was struck by the fact that a Spork is not only a fusion of a fork and a spoon, but now one edge of it is actually serrated. Thus making it ALSO A KNIFE. How does this even make sense? A) You can’t do all three tasks at once with only one device – rendering it pointless. B) Nothing in the name implies the ability to cut or slice. So it’s a failure both practically and semantically.

And that completes today’s angry linguistic rant. *takes pedant hat off*. Except to say that the other day in Birmingham’s German Christmas market, I purchased a lovely woolly pair off GLITTENS. Yes, that is, mittens that handily metamorphose into gloves when you need your fingers to be functional yet warm. Perfect for typing in the Tea Building then.


There’s been a crime


 A crime against the English language.

The poor, innocent unsuspecting words cafe and restaurant did nothing to deserve this, did they?

Even funnier than this was the poster with the caption underneath, that said ‘More than a cafe…’

That’s all it said. Even though clearly by saying that, it’s planting the phrase ‘less than a restaurant’ into the head of every passer by? and that’s not a good thing, is it?

Do you agree that this is an offense, and a bastardisation of English? Or is it, as Nathalie thinks, ‘acceptable because it makes you laugh.’

Get thee to a punnery

A harmless bit of wordplay this fine thursday morn. Each year the Washington Post asks readers to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter and then dreaming up a new definition. Perhaps you’ve seen these before but here are the highlights.

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

5.Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

6. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

7. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

8. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

9. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

Sarchasm has to be the best, doesn’t it?

If we’re honest, we think the Guardian’s Wyse Words are wittier. The words themselves are slightly more obscure, but the definitions are utter genius…

Horrigami – A point reached in certain activities – the folding of a map, the packing away of a tent or the untangling of a kite on a mercilessly cold and windy day – where it seems conceivable that you will be trying to accomplish this one task for the rest of your life on earth.

Queuthanasia – The sapping of life’s vital energy caused by lining up behind someone at a busy cash machine, railway ticket dispenser or supermarket till who begins the five-minute fumble for their bankcard only when the machine bleeps to request payment. Delay makes machine cancel. Process repeats.


Nibstery- Being convinced, by some sensory mischief between your mouth and your brain, that you still have one more bite left of the snack you have just been enjoying; except you can’t find it. You have either eaten it, or the morsel has slipped through to a high-calorie parallel universe made entirely from treats.


Newpid- A piece of expensive, once state-of-the-art technology that makes you feel slightly sick when you find it gathering dust in a drawer. You thought you needed it. You thought it would make you better. You played with it once and never touched it again. It is now obsolete.


Apolojeer- The art of saying sorry in a totally superior way. The trick is to sound racked with genuine concern, but subliminally convey a withering disdain for how pathetic the other person is for taking whatever you said to heart. Then get them to say sorry for getting you to say sorry.


Hoebylo- The telephone call you make purely to say goodbye to someone, having been cut off by the mobile network just before saying it at the end of the previous conversation. You then get voicemail, requiring the other party to call you back to say hello and confirm receipt of the goodbye.


Pfoffter-A kind of hollow laugh that flops lethargically out of the mouth and is delivered without a smile, used to acknowledge that in some situations or frames of mind, what the other person just said could be amusing to some people, but it doesn’t really work for you. Try it now.


Waitrogues-Vehicles that glide malevolently around supermarket car parks like sharks in a tank, and seem to follow you wherever you turn your trolley. Just when it begins to feel as if you are about to lose your life in the crossfire of a bungled kidnapping, you realise they are just fishing for your parking slot.


Selfilmportance- The forbiddingly cool atmosphere created by movie crews – via big lights, cranes and hazard tape – that makes you feel like a pointless twit for needing to get in your front door while they film in your street. They are actually deeply envious you can do that rather than babysit a smoke machine until 4am.

If anyone has any other gems, feel free to share.