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The Greater Meaning of Radnorshire Words

Map of Radnor

A map of Radnorshire - quite early, as the dam complex in the Elan Valley has yet to be built. The Elan is featured in at least three of my books - home of Guinzilla, and the route taken to get to High Saffron. I live right at the very lowest extreme. Oh, and Radnorshire actually doesn't exist - it and Montgomeryshire are now Powys, the largest, and emptiest, of British Counties.


Douglas Adams and John Lloyd wrote a delightful book in the eighties titled 'The Meaning of Liff' whereby they assigned underused words - UK village place names - to things that were so far unnamed in a delightful display of etymological reimagining.

I haven't read the book for several decades, but I still use two of their words: A 'Ludlow' which is a small wedge I keep in my pocket to stop tables wobbling, and a 'Scamblesby', a small dog indistinguishable from a throw rug.

In idle moments I made up some of my own, and assigned them to places in Radnorshire, where I live. The list has been compiled over about ten years, and is one of those things that amused me, but I didn't know what to do with or where it would go. This location seems as good as any other.

Oh, and if any of you eagle-eyed spotters notice that any of mine have migrated subconsciously from Lloyd/Adams, let me know. You could make us some of your own.


Cregina: The act of refilling a hotel mini-bar with shop-bought goodies in order not to be charged through the nose.

Glascwm: The sense of shardenfreude you get when your purchased goodies arrive too late to refill the minibar, so you eat them all instead.

Bedw: A lump, bump, rash or condition which is just big enough to be of concern, but not considered serious enough to go to the doctor about.

Erwood: The sense that someday soon you will start repeating yourself and no-one will say anything to be polite.

Evenjobb: A person or couple who run their lives solely for it to look good on Social Media.

Newtown: The act of leaving a bag on the train seat next to you with the intent to stop another passenger sitting next to you, or hopefully at least until Oxford when the train really fills up.

New Radnor: Any goods or services that appears to be a bargain only to have the cost gradually and disappointingly increased by small yet unavoidable extras. EG: car hire agreements, budget airline flights, marriage to a trophy spouse.

Boughrood: An unwanted item that exists in the netherworld between too valuable to throw away but not valuable enough to go to the arse of putting it on eBay or freetrade, so is offered, with convincing yet utterly falacious arguments concerning value and usefulness, to a relative or friend.

Crug: A person who has always done something just that little bit better or more dramatic than the thing you've done that you're describing.

Heyhop: The dent you make on the top of a traditional milk bottle top to enable you to open it more easily.

Hengoed: The internal moral dilemma one faces when you insist on carrying your luggage yourself which on the one hand is positive because you don't want anyone waiting on you, but is negative because it might be the only way the bellstaff can augment their meagre wages.

Rhosgoch: an awkward male much given to obsessive talks about something most people don't find interesting

Walton: The profile picture you put on Facebook that alludes to a more exciting lifestyle than the one you actually possess.

Burlingjobb: Populist political dogma that is useful for individuals or the media to espouse in order to abrogate responsibility for something that went very wrong but you tacitly supported at the time.

Weythell: A man who espouses extreme right wing views while insisting he is not a racist but a 'realist'

Bronydd: The act of saying you aren't something as a direct precursor to revealing that you are. eg: 'I'm not racist/sexist/conservative/ but...'

Ednol: The item of discarded clothing that a teenager drops on the floor and which can stay there for up to three months as part of a 'dirty washing stand off'

Aberedw: The propensity to boast about one's illnesses/operations when over retirement age.

Aberedw-by-Proxy: Boasting about the illnesses/operations of a close friend who is either too unwell or too dignified to do it for themselves.

Hindwell: A man who espouses popular feminist views solely in order to curry favour with women.

Hindwell-on-Arrow: A woman who adopts laddy chacrateristics solely in order to curry favour with men.

Clyro: A naive fool who steadfastly insists that traditional chemical photography is better than digital.

Fronlas: The sort of picture that looks good and gains likes on Instagram but is utterly valueless in any other setting.

Painscastle: A dog that you don't like but have to be nice to because it belongs to a relative.

Rhulen: The sort of cravat that only vintage car drivers wear.

Dysquilva: Someone who believes that skill and sound judgement was the root of their achievements rather than the luck it actually was.

Sunnybank: To maintain the pretence of believing in Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy beyond a reasonable age, solely to ensure the revenue and gift stream might continue.

Marden: A recycled Christmas gift

Shelwick: Talking utter bollocks with 100% commitment.

Disserth: An inexplicably awful book\film\painting from someone who can and has, done much better in the past.

Felton: Making a noise with a toothbrush on the sink to give the impression to your parents that you are brushing your teeth.

Wormsley: Someone not very good at gesticulating.

Llanfaredd: The inadvertent slurping noise you make when you come to the bottom of a milkshake.

Presteign: A comic impersonation of reasonable quality of which you were previously proud that now has to be retired because of the subject's dramatic drop in popularity eg: Rolf Harris, Jimmy Saville.

Clehonger: The unswerving belief that what is absolutely right for someone else, isn't necessarily right for you. Such as carpooling, or going without air travel or fresh mangos to minmise CO2 production.

Aconbury: The amount of tax avoidance that you feel happy about committing.

Gladestry: reviewing a book favourably because you know the author/publisher.

Little Gladestry: reviewing a book disfourably in order to appear even handed because you know the author/publisher

Llansantfread: The hot and sweaty look people get when they are attempting to justify the unjustifiable.

Begwyn: The diluted decision you came to rather than the one you feel you should have made.

Cwm-Berwyn: technology you just don't quite understand.

Llandegley: The event in your life from which you can demonstarte your advancing years without mentioning your age: 'I can Llandegley the moon landings'

Penybont: A cushy well-paid job that you are given due to family connections, and for which you have no skills for, nor particular liking of (Male) eg: 'Something in the city', Estate Agent, farm manager, Member of parliament.

Nantmel: A cushy well-paid job that you are given due to family connections, and for which you have no skills for, nor particular liking of. (Female) eg: Consultant to handbag/couture/fashion company, interior designer, garden designer, member of parliament.

Gaufron: The plethora of excuses that seven-year-olds make in order to not go to bed, which are entertaining by their variation and imagination.

Eyton: the itchy feeling one gets for a shiny must have gadget from Apple that you want to own but know that you don't actually need.

Rhayder: a school history syllibus that concentrates only on the nation's historical good points,and glosses over the industrial scale of murder and enthusiastic support for colonialism.

Dolfor: A large and glaringly empty interior wall that is begging to be covered with a painting.

Ludlow: The expression on a stranger's dog that is somewhere between malice and friendship, but which you always err on the side of caution.

Lugg: A menu in your favourite eatery that hasn't change in three weeks and makes you think you'll go someplace else.

Penarron: A poorly distressed shabby chic effect that just makes the furniture look tacky.

Rhosgoch: The embarassing faux pas when an attractive stranger chats with you in a supermarket, but actually turns out to be a friend of your spouse/partner who you can't remember.

Kerry: A rare moment of integrity during parlimentray procedure.

Gwyllt: The smugness exhibited by those previously marginalised by their extreme political views, but now, after a curious change in circumstance gives their position undeserved credibility.

Llabadarn: Any sort of regalia worn by women only on a hen night.

Discoed: The nick on your fingernail that is testament to a near miss with a sharp cooking knife.

Bettws: The profession someone who benefits from a private income gives when asked what they do for a living. eg: photographer, writer, sculptor, painter, etc.

Brown Dingle: A mildly uncomfortable feeling that a stool is coming on, but which you know will lead to nothing but a disappointingly quiet fart once in the toilet.

Builth Wells: The subtle battle of wits you undertake to surreptitiously dominate the arm rest on a budget flight.

Llandeilo Graban: The misplaced sense of superiority one posses about your nation's own particular domestic power socket.

Fron: An inaccessible clock that reads summertime all year round.

Ddol: The day of the year in which UPS delivery drivers switch from trousers to shorts.

Erwood: A troubling feeling that you are repeating yourself but no-one is mentioning it in order to be polite.

Wern:The shock at hearing one of your parents swear obscenely for the first time.

Shelheath: The warm and cosy story at the end of the news that is intended to take the edge off the famine and wars.

Cnwch: A deluded sense of one's own personal achievement in life, when promulgated by an upper middle class individual who started with every advantage and privilege.

Ffoeslaprey: The inexplicable compulsion to wave at someone driving a car which is the identical same colour and make as your own, believing, erroneously, that you somehow belong to some obscure yet cohesive private automobile tribe.

Bryngolfa: The compulsion, however pointless, of returning a Ffoeslaprey (qv)

Bryn : Any tea stirrer that is not spoon-shaped.

Wern Coppice: The distinctive noise that dial-up connections used to make before Broadband.

Whimble: Any animal that is, for no discernible reason, comedic. e.g: Moose, hamsters, lobsters, dachshunds, Basset hounds, bushbabies, walrus, koala, Kiwi, pygmy hippo, cod, squid and, of course, the tapir.

Stanna: An inappropriate joke that you have to listen to out of politeness but do not feel compelled to laugh at.

Stanna Rocks: The same as above, but will require, due to politeness or sycophancy, a small laugh.

Whinyard: The precise age at which a human being will channel their energies previously used to appear older, to appearing younger.

Cefn Perfa: The feeling that your understanding of the world is inversely proportional to your ability to contribute usefully towards it.

Bryn-Maen: Any once-fashionable item of clothing that you strenuously deny ever wearing.

Gwaunceste: A person who lives comfortably on a trust fund or other private income but who maintains the pretence of a paid job.

Dderw: The theoretical book you wanted to write which is considerably better than the one which eventually emerged.

Tygwyn: A sentence which begins generally positive but then turns to make a point which is either negative or argumentative by the inclusion of a 'but'.

Noyadd: The utter bollocks that artists write on their mission statement in gallery exhibitions.

Upper Erwood: The complete and now certain knowledge that you are repeating yourself but no-one is mentioning it in order to be polite.



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