Useful Words and Phrases for Practical Living
© Helen Fielding 2001
Substitute for normal human partner.
Bunny boiler: Hateful
poison concept suggesting that if a woman is thirty-six and unmarried she is
going to start murdering other people’s husbands and boiling their children’s
Commitment phobic: Person
who insists on describing anything from shag to fourteen-year relationship as
“just good friends.”
room: Hateful place always containing the girl who looks fantastic in
everything and swings around smirking at your thighs, flicking her hair and
doing model poses in the mirror saying: “Does it make me look fat?” to her
obligatory obese friend who looks like a water buffalo in everything.
that I used to go out with.
Fuckwit: Person (man) who
does emotional fuckwittage.
Fuckwittage (the French pronunciation): Fuick-witted
Gaaah!: Expression of shock on discovering self forty-five
minutes late for work, or love interest forty-five minutes early for date.
Hag fag: Gay male friend
ideal for thirty-something female Singleton, since understands what is like
to be treated as disappointment to parents and freak by society. Also
excellent for outfit choice assistance.
Humph: Useful expression for showing disgruntlement.
I: Rarely used word normally replaced by “self.”
Jellyfisher: Person who drops
little verbal stings into conversation which you hardly notice at time but
leave you feeling hurt afterwards whilst not pinpointing exactly where came
from, e.g. “Just seen some great trousers, well, unless you have cellulite
jodhpurs, of course.” (Portuguese Man of War variety)
Jude: Lovely Singleton friend with whizzy job in
the City: better at dealing with collapse of the yen than commitment-phobic
nonboyfriend Vile Richard.
Karma: V. important but incomprehensible concept.
Lettuce: Rare foodstuff
which uses up more calories to chew than it contains.
Mentionitis: When someone’s
name keeps coming up when not strictly relevant, e.g. “Rebecca has a car like
that,” or “Rebecca likes fish,” thereby suggesting said person performing
Mentionitis has crush on said Rebecca. Especially if one is paranoid.
rite-of-relationship-passage involving stay of not less than one and not more
than three nights in country house/hotel/fisherman’s cottage, near pub by
river (ideally with open fire) in country, e.g. Cornwall or similar.
Minibreaks clearly demonstrate that a man has sufficient romantic interest in
you to come away from football and thus that you are having a relationship
and not just shagging.
Natural look: Only achieved for
date after several hours of farming techniques - harvesting, crop-spraying,
filing, waxing, plucking, exfoliating, etc. Never actually let yourself
revert to nature or you will end up with a full beard and handlebar mustache
on each shin.
One-Four-Seven-One: Telephonic device
which adds to excitement of being single but also doubles misery potential on
arrival home: no-number-stored-on-1471 misery adds to
no-message-on-answerphone misery, or number-stored-turning-out-to-be-mother’s
Pashmarried: Platonic friend
whom you used to go out with and is now married with children, likes having
you around as memory of old life, but makes you feel like mad barren pod-womb
imagining vicar is in love with self.
Pashmincer: Platonic friend
whom you fancy but unfortunately is gay.
Pashspurt: “Platonic friend”
who keeps making passes then getting cross when you say you just want
to be friends.
Quince: Fruit-type thing beginning with “q” unlike
any other words can think of.
Re-tread: Hideous poison
concept generated by misguided journalist that thirty-something girls are the
sort of girls you wanted to go out with when they were in their twenties and
they wouldn’t and now you can go out with them but don’t want to. Said
misguided journalist now happily ensconced with thirty-something girl plus
baby thereby proving whole concept was load of old bollocks.
Shazzer: Lovely Singleton
friend: top radical feminist except when sobbing in sheep’s voice over boys
she met in gym.
Singleton: Replacement for
poison outdated word “spinster.”
Smug Married: Annoying married
person who says things like “Why aren’t you married yet?” “How’s your love
life?” and “Can’t put it off forever, you know, tick-tock, tick-tock.”
Tom: Best gay friend who always greets self with
“Bridget, you’ve lost so much weight.” Which is nice.
Urban family: Select group of
Singleton friends who perform function of old-fashioned blood family only do
all communication over phone or e-mail unless involves Chardonnay.
Valentine’s Day: Purely cynical
commercial enterprise unless you get one and then it’s a marvelous vehicle
for people to show their appreciation of others who more than deserve it:
rather like awards at award ceremonies.
v.g.: Very good.
Why: Frequently asked question, e.g. Why do Smug Marrieds/buckets do this? Why?
X: Person who should never go off with anyone
else but remain celibate to the end of their days in order to provide you
with a mental fallback position.
Zen: Something which, when you look at life, can be applied to anything: Zen and the art of shopping, Zen and the art of blow-drying, Zen and the art of VAT returns, etc. etc. It is all a question of flow rather than struggle. But Jude says not to mention this to Shazzer as she thinks it is bollocks.