The Meaning Of Briff

The godlike geniuses Douglas Adams and John Lloyd invented a thing called ‘The Meaning of Liff’ it was one book, then an expanded edition all containing ah, well I’ll let them tell you:

“In Life, there are many hundreds of common experiences, feelings, situations and even objects which we all know and recognize, but for which no words exist.
On the other hand, the world is littererd with thousands of spare words which spend their time doing nothing but loafing about on signposts pointing at places.
Our job, as wee see it, is to get these words down off the signposts and into the mouths of babes and sucklings and so on, where they can start earning their keep in everyday conversation and make a more positive contribution to society.”

That’s great and contains such gems as:

DROITWICH (n.)
A street dance. The two partners approach from opposite directions and try politely to get out of each other’s way. They step to the left, step to the right, apologise, step to the left again, apologise again, bump into each other and repeat as often as unnecessary.

But, Birmingham isn’t well featured (Edgbaston is defined I think, but not much else) and that’s a shame as Brum seems to have more places per square mile than any other city. Why, just stepping outside the house I can bestride Moseley, King’s Heath and Billesley like a collosus of roads. So we needed a meaning of “Briff”, and luckily in this crowd soursing twitterific day and age it took only a day of people’s continuous partial attention to compile a Kingstanding of a list:

Sutton Coldfield: The draft that catches you unawares when putting the cat out dressed only in a bath robe.

Harborne: “How something you’re carrying for someone else always seems heavier.”

Erdington:”The hope that the nutter on the bus doesn’t sit by you as he sways up the aisle.”

Hodge Hill: “The point at which an incline becomes so steep it begins to cause pain in your knees.”

Stirchley (adv.):  smiling but with an underlying hint of menace: “he looked at me a bit stirchley”.

Kingstanding (colloq. noun) a prodigious erection.

Cotteridge: The groove that runs down the length of a Yale key.

Dale End: The last biscuit in the pack, always covered with so many crumbs as to be un-dunkable.

and more… (credited on the Twitter Search page, but it was taking me too long to copy the links)

Wednesbury(adj): of an interminable comic strip in a paper that the editor would cancel were it not for complaint letters

Tyburn: The mark left by an item of neckwear used in auto-erotic self strangulation

Small Heath: nauseous sensation of almost being sick but then it goes back down again.

Minworth: expression of shock at the low value of the pound whilst on holiday.

Oscott: The middle class detritus that can only result from a Farmers Market.

Kingsnorton (noun): A joke so funny you can’t help laughing at it days later.

Sparkbrook (verb): The bum cleavage of a building site electrician.

Weoley Castle: A well upholstered caravan, with lots of things that are both “a can opener and a swingball set”

Hall Green (adj): The colour of paint stolen from the Austin factory in the seventies and used to paint everyone’s houses.

Aston (verb): A brisk buffing of a child’s cheek with a dry hanky. “C’mere kidda, let’s aston that chocolate off you”

Gravelly Hill: Often used as a warning against overambitious ideas. “That’s a Gravelly Hill you’re about to climb.”

Tyseley (adj.) – surprisingly good in a fight: as in “he doesn’t look like much, but he’s a bit tyseley, I can tell you”

Hockley: The current pawn value of a thing you own.

Digbeth (verb): To appreciate a long soak in a tub of hot water

Little Aston: A short man who makes up for his lack of stature with offensive behavior and sarcasm.

Aldridge: The crease that forms on the forehead after years of scowling and frowning.

Dudley (adj.): (of food) lumpy. “This gravy is a bit Dudley.”

Willenhall: indicating that you shall also be attending an event. Eg”I’m going to the flickrmeet” “Me too, I willenhall”.

Amblecote: An outerwear garment designed for walking without purpose

Rowley Village (n.): A group of public houses around which trouble congregates at chucking out time.

Queslett: A tapas dish consisting of small pieces of cheese.

Stechford (n.) A road where the traffic goes slightly quicker than is really comfortable.

Bassetts Pole: Liquorish stacked one on another.

Lower Gornal (n): the typeface used by shopkeepers on handwritten window advert cards.

Upper Gornal (n): the typeface used by angry shopkeepers on handwritten window adverts.

You can see them all at the Twitter Search results for #meaningofbriff (if that doesn’t mean anything to you, don’t worry, just click).

You can contribute by tweeting a definition with the hashtag, or leaving a comment here. But bestest of all-est. Daz Wright maded a map (which you can also add to).

Google Maps

6 comments for “The Meaning Of Briff

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    31 December 2009 at 2:01 pm

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