by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd
Better known for authoring a book with the words 'Don't Panic'
on the cover, Douglas Adams also spawned a book sporting the
slightly less catchy 'This book will change your life'. The book
attaches meanings in search of words to place-names in search of
meanings. While much of the book is amusing the examples below
have been chosen because they are the Liff words which I have
actually adopted into my vocabulary (I was inspired to add this
page to my site while searching for a ludlow). For a full version
in Windows help format follow this link.
- Duntish (adj.)
- Mentally incapacitated by a severe hangover.
- Limassol (n.) *
- The correct name for one of those little paper umbrellas
which come in cocktails with too much pineapple juice in
- Ludlow (n.)
- A wad of newspaper, folded table-napkin or lump of
cardboard put under a wobbly table or chair to make it
stand up straight. [I often use small stacks of penny
coins as ludlows for bookcases to stop them leaning
- Sidcup (n.)
- One of those hats made from tying knots in the corners of
- Uphall (vb.) *
- To adjust an erection through the trouser pocket so that
it lies upwards, kept in place by the waistband of your
pants. This eases the probus (qv).
* From the Official Supplement
to the Meaning of Liff by John Lloyd and Douglas Adams with
Stephen Fry, published in the Utterly Utterly Merry Comic Relief
Christmas Book, 1986.
The following words are not place names but appear to be
meanings left out of Liff.
- Arble Farble (n., vb.)
- Garbled speech resulting from the brain not taking into
account how long it takes to say things and going ahead
with the next bit anyway.
- Baalambed (adj.)
- Drunk without (much) alcohol. Synonyme of euphoric.
- Pedslump (n.)
- The action whereby your socks remove themselves from your
feet, inside your boots, ending up by wedging themselves
in the toe of your footwear. Comes in single and double
forms, according to one or both feet. If double pedslump
occurs, it is time to buy new socks.
- Raisin (n.)
- Current plan. Esp. 'What's the raisin?'
- Siblet (n.)
- Anyone who has siblings from the same pregnancy.
The following words are French in origin but I use them in
English with somewhat modified/specified meanings.
- Boff (exclam.)
- I shrug my shoulders in your general direction.
- Nuit blanche (n.)
- A night spent awake through choice (i.e. not a sleepless
night in the sense of restless).
- Tranche (n.)
- Something which would be called a slice except that it
was not created by slicing, especially used for egg
noodles which come in packets containing three separate
blocks. [One tranche or two?]
- Tree (vb.) [From trier]
- To sort a mixed collection of items into seperate piles.
This page was last updated on 16/12/99.
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Meaning of Liff homage.
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