The Even Deeper Meaning Of Liff - The Saga Continues...

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A dramatic revival of a long-dormant project

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For those of you who are unaware of The Meaning of Liff and The Deeper Meaning of Liff by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, they're books. Good books. Funny books. Books that, to be concise, lend place-names to things or experiences as yet un-named.

H2G2 is the perfect place to continue Douglas and John's efforts to make the signposts of the world more meaningful and fun, so if you like to have a contribution considered for inclusion in this, The Even Deeper Meaning of Liff, please start a conversation below with your definition. Don't forget that the words have to be genuine place names - and no plagiarising the originals, please. That would be very, very naughty.

Alternatively, if you would like to see your home town added, or know of any funny-sounding place-names, please post those, and our more experienced Liff-ers will bash out a definition or two for your approval.

"See Liff" means a reference to the original Liff books.

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  • St Cleer (n.)
    • The patron saint of catalytic convertors.
  • St Helens (n.)
    • The patron saint of volcanoes.
  • St Michaels (n.)
    • The patron saint of underwear.
  • St Pauls Cray (n.)
    • A little-known early mechanical calculating device, pre-dating Babbage's "difference engine" by several centuries, but never developed further because for some reason it worked in Base 13 using Reverse Sideways Polish Notation and gave the answer in Roman Numerals.
  • Sausthorpe (n.)
    • Where actors in British 1960s "sex comedies" go when they die.
  • Sawtry (n.)
    • The 5 or 6 token strokes you make with a hand-saw before deciding to go and get the electric one.
  • Sedgeberrow (n.)
    • A neighbour who neither owns nor intends to buy any gardening equipment because he has most of yours on permanent loan.
  • Shoeburyness (n. Of Animals, See Liff For Other Usage)
    • A mood that comes over domestic dogs, whereby they feel compelled to carry off your possessions and bury them in the flower bed.
  • Shurlock Row (n.)
    • A rigged police line-up in which the suspect sticks out like a sore thumb.
  • Skendleby (n.)
    • Someone who knows, to the nearest ha’penny, how much money he is owed by other people.
  • Sleaford (n.)
    • British weather during any public holiday.
  • Sloothby (n.)
    • A besuited man who knows the location of every mirrored surface on his way to work.
  • Smailholm (n.)
    • A holiday postcard which takes longer to get back home than the sender.
  • Snig's End (n.)
    • The moment when a suppressed guffaw can be contained no longer(see also; Inverquharity).
  • Splottlands (n.)
    • What's left of a forest after use as a paintball range.
  • Sproatley (n.)
    • A very old person (100+) who the local media report on as been that old due to a bottle of Guiness and a cigar everyday since they were 12.
  • Spurn Point (n.)
    • The precise moment when a girl in a night club agrees to coffee at a man's flat.
  • Standish (vb.)
    • To be lingering at the foot of the stairs with the TV-remote in one hand, about to go to bed, but unable to actually go because you keep finding just one more interesting item to watch. Some people have been known to watch entire movies whilst caught in a Standish condition. Others have been discovered the next morning, still there, insisting that "just another five minutes" and they'll be off to bed.
  • Stisted (adj.)
    • Stretched, twisted, kinked and knotted in the manner of the average telephone-cord or hairdryer-lead, etc. Helical or coiled leads may also feature a Kinkell Bridge (qv).
  • Stoneley (vb.)
    • Wistfully desirous of giving up one's job and going off to live in a Stoneycroft (qv).
  • Stoneycroft (n.)
    • The sort of picturesque rural cottage that looks idyllic on a postcard, but which to those who actually have to live in it is a cold, damp, decaying pile of bug-infested rubble.
  • Stoney Stanton (n.)
    • Someone who refuses to join in the fun.
  • Stour Provost (n.)
    • Someone who tries to get a Stoney Stanton (qv) to join in the fun.
  • Stow Bardolph (n.)
    • Someone who tries to get a Stour Provost (qv) to give up trying to get a Stoney Stanton (qv) to join in the fun.
  • Strang (n.)
    • The sound of an electric guitar falling over whilst still plugged in, which is then adopted by Pink Floyd as a ten-minute 'concept' piece.
  • Strandfontein (n.)
    • That part of an ornamental water feature which has been a tinted-green colour for years and is no longer spurting water. A Strandfontein will generally remain in this state for several years because it is apparently invisible to the local council, even though everyone else can see it.
  • Strathpeffer (vb.)
    • To play about with the controls of an aircraft so as to leave rude morse-code messages in the contrail.
  • Stretton Grandison (n.)
    • Characteristic stance adopted by members of Status Quo. Stretton Minor appears similar but involves more animation in the legs e.g. early John Lennon.
  • Strumpshaw (n.)
    • A lead-guitarist who considers Chords (or anyone who plays them) as beneath his dignity.
  • Suishnish (adj.)
    • In the mood to pull back curtains with a flourish.
  • Sumwick (n.)
    • Someone for whom the weather can never be too hot.
  • Surfleet (vb.)
    • Able to receive far more satellite-TV channels than you could ever possibly have a use for.
  • Sutton Leach (n.)
    • A person who maintains that they don't like or even understand computer games, yet who upon being introduced to one won't let anyone else get near it for the next ten hours. "Tetris" on the Gameboy is particularly prone to Sutton Leaches.
  • Swefling (vb.)
    • To rotate in pursuit of a second armhole when donning a coat, sweater or other sleeved garment. The human equivalent of a dog chasing it's own tail. Normally observed only in small children, drunks and Norman Wisdom.
  • Swyre (vb.)
    • To narrowly avert swearing by hasty substitution of trailing syllables (e.g. oh shiiiiaaaame).
  • Sychtyn (vb.)
    • Use of anti-synchronous body-language , for example deliberately walking out-of-step with someone you don't like.
  • Tadcaster (n.)
    • The member of a TV news team who delivers the novelty item at the end, prefacing it with the words "and finally." Items considered suitable for Tadcasting are;- 1. celebrity gossip. 2. humorous incidents. 3. inconsequential trivia. 4. groundbreaking scientific discoveries and achievements.
  • Tangmere (n.)
    • Collective term for the unorganised mass of cables festooning the average PC.
  • Tavernspite (n.)
    • The effect of walking into a small village pub where you're not a local. Magically, all conversation dies as the local yokels focus their entire inbred energies on generating a magical atmosphere of unease to make you feel unwelcome. In severe cases, a pianist will stop playing and a glass will be smashed.
  • Tendring (ptcpl. vb.)
    • Descriptive of an area of the body made increasingly sensitive by the continued play-fighting of a niece or nephew.
  • Tetford (n.)
    • The snappy teacher at your primary school that later left to become a prison officer.
  • Theddingworth (n.)
    • A DIY enthusiast who can produce the maximum amount of noise and vibration for the minimum number of jobs actually done. (May indicate the presence of a Low Eggborough [see Liff]).
  • Thimbleby (n.)
    • One who collects imaginary things.
  • Thingwall (n.)
    • A brick wall which stands entirely on its own in the middle of nowhere, has been there for as long as anyone can remember, serves no purpose whatsoever, but is never, ever, pulled down. Most towns in Britain have at least one Thingwall, usually a vestigial fragment of some larger structure long since demolished, which has somehow survived, and is now meticulously maintained by the council whilst all around it falls into decay.
  • Thirlspot (n.)
    • The place where a domestic cat, in deference to inherited ancestral urges, turns around three times to flatten the grass before it settles down, even though it is quite clearly standing on solid concrete.
  • Thornton Hough (n.)
    • A very gentle and cautious half-cough performed by a person with an extremely sore throat and/or masses of loose mucus.
  • Thurlby (n.)
    • Someone whose idea of lighthearted conversation is discussing bowel complaints.
  • Tifty (vb.)
    • Just bursting to have a pointless argument about something completely irrelevant for no reason whatsoever.
  • Timpanheck (vb.)
    • To admit defeat after a long hard struggle with the video timer.
  • Timworth (n.)
    • A child who condescendingly instructs parents on how to operate their computer.
  • Torquay (n.)
    • A place name in one's own country which foreigners are unable to pronounce correctly.
  • Tranmere (n. Collective)
    • The stampede of people trying to get out of the cinema the instant the credits start to roll.
  • Trewalder (vb.)
    • To involuntarily lurch about while playing joystick-controlled computer games. (See also: Imber, Liff.)
  • Trewoon (vb.)
    • To Trewalder (qv) to such an extent that you fall off the chair, e.g. when banking in a flight simulator.
  • Tumby (n.)
    • Someone so fat you can’t help staring at their stomach when talking to them.
  • Tumby Woodside (n.)
    • Area of forest required to construct the coffin for a dead Tumby (qv).
  • Tunstall (n.)
    • A raw-sewage outfall pipe that doesn't quite reach as far as the low-water mark.
  • Twante (n.)
    • A critic who always has to drag sexual subtexts into everything, especially where inappropriate.
  • Ulceby (n.)
    • One who studies newspapers and magazines for news of innovative new illnesses of which they can claim to be dying.
  • Ulceby-with-Fordington (n.)
    • Friend of an Ulceby (qv) who reads medical journals and can go one better.
  • Ulrome (vb.)
    • To be unable to afford a taxi home after leaving a nightclub.
  • Up Sydling (vb.)
    • Corrective sequential re-allocation of buttons on a garment being worn Cardurnock (qv) style.
  • Upper Godney (n.)
    • The more persistent of the pair of Jehovah's Witnesses at your front door.
  • Vatten (vb.)
    • To annihilate a fledgling business by application of tax.
  • Vegorritis (n., Medical)
    • The condition of being swollen with intestinal gas after switching to an all-vegetarian diet for the first time.
  • Voorst (vb.)
    • To make the V-sign at people on the television whom you dislike.
  • Vroomshoop (vb.)
    • Of motorcyclists, to be mystified as to why other motorists despise them so much, while refusing to take into account that it's because they (the motorcyclists) drive even more insanely recklessly than anyone else.
  • Wadshelf (n.)
    • External fleshy protrusion formed when your dentist rams you full of cotton wool. Some dentists make use of the Wadshelf as a temporary tool-rest.
  • Wallasey (vb.)
    • Descriptive of the depleted state of a church organist who has just played the whole of Bach's Toccata in D minor at twice the normal speed because he misread the tempo at the beginning.
  • Wankie (n.)
    • A critic who is quite blatantly spouting a load of polysyllabic cobblers in an effort to appear intellectual.
  • Wargrave (adj.)
    • Tone of voice deemed necessary when doing voice-overs for serious documentaries.
  • Warrington (n. collective.)
    • A gang of hooligans that suddenly appears where seconds earlier there was a perfectly polite and orderly bus-queue, the transformation being triggered by the arrival of an actual bus.
  • Wavertree (vb.)
    • Unable to decide whether to hang about for 1p change on a £9.99 item. To wait shows that you're a miser. To not wait seems impolite. A possible compromise is to run out shouting "You can keep the Kibblesworth," in the hope that those present may have read The Meaning of Liff.
  • Weedon Beck (n.)
    • The type of person who is jealous of those who are even bigger sci-fi geeks than himself.
  • Welsdale Bottom (n.)
    • Characteristic feature of medieval Yorkshire fertility symbols.
  • Welton-le-Wold (n.)
    • A plummy-voiced actor who is understood by no-one when he gives interviews.
  • Wem (n.)
    • Permanent thin-ness of the lips brought about by sucking too many lemons.
  • Whitgift (n.)
    • One who takes such joy in correcting even the tiniest of lingual mistakes that he actually uses the words "methinks" and "verily" with a jaunty jester-like cocked head while correcting you. Just before you hit him.
  • Wichita (n.)
    • The kind of loud, pushy, obnoxious American tourist who proclaims everything in a foreign country to be 'quaint,' and engenders anti-American sentiments across the globe.
  • Willaston (n.)
    • Someone who only goes to the races in the hope of seeing a spectacular accident (at least half the punters on any given day will be Willastons).
  • Willerby (n.)
    • A solicitors business card which is found in a funeral-parlour waiting-room.
  • Windy Arbour (n.)
    • A type of concrete-and-glass "shelter" found uniquely along the prom at British seaside resorts. They are apparently designed to make one feel even colder, wetter and more windblown than if one had stayed outside. Special architectural features include carefully-angled roof slats to focus the rain onto the occupants, neck-level draught-enhancers, ankle-level gust-gaps, and overhead struts from where the seagulls can get a good steady aim when crapping onto your sandwiches.
  • Winteringham (n.)
    • The act of a mother swaddling her child in so many unnecessary layers of jackets, scarves and extra trousers that they are completely incapable of any movement and can be knocked over by the cat.
  • Wispington (n.)
    • One who can't exhale cigarette smoke without some form of embellishment.
  • Wistanstow (vb.)
    • A process which prevents lofts or attics from ever being cleared out. Items for sorting are unpacked, dusted off, fondly reminisced over, then shoved into a different corner of the loft for another 10 years.
  • Wix (vb.)
    • To accidentally injure a child by quickly lifting them away from a lesser danger.
  • Wolfclyde (n.)
    • Honorary title given to the member of a gang of workmen who is posted as look-out for females to lech at.
  • Wood Enderby (n.)
    • Someone who dies from a Viagra overdose.
  • Woodhall Spa (n.)
    • 24-hour shop selling posh homewares for country houses.
  • Woonsocket (n.)
    • The missing vital attachment of a socket wrench that shows up soon after you buy a replacement for it.
  • Worlaby (n.)
    • Tone of voice used by chauvinist men when telling a woman she can't do something.
  • Wressle (n.)
    • Similar to 'wrestle'; in this specific spelling referring to a struggle with large baggy clothes, electrical cables, duvet covers etc., which only serves to tangle them more and more, the more frustrated you get.
  • Wyche (n.)
    • Expression used by elderly Scottish women whenever they hear a sexual swear-word on the television.
  • Wydal (n.)
    • Person who measures more across the buttocks than in height.
  • Xilokastron (n.)
    • Generic term for any new drug with a ridiculous number of Vs, Xs, Ys, and Zs in the name that is touted by American pharmaceutical companies as something you simply cannot live without, but they will not tell you what it actually does. See also: Adare
  • Yetholm (n.)
    • The kind of elderly gentleman who insists on wearing a tweed suit, waistcoat, trilby, and tie while on holiday in the height of summer.
  • Zuider Zee (n.)
    • An exaggerated Westcountry accent affected by locals in a pub as soon as city-folk or tourists enter the establishment, in the hopes that this will prove endearing and prompt the outsiders to buy them drinks.
  • Zyyi (n.)
    • The jumble of letters you produce when filling in the last clue in a crossword, which indicates that you're not as clever as you had first thought.
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