Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Meaning of Liff (and Poker)

Douglas Adams, he of The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy fame, was an incredibly funny man. Loved watching deadlines flying by, but funny nonetheless. I have owned at one time or another almost all of his books (some of them multiple times) - the entire HHGTTG trilogy (which is comprised of five books), the Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency books etc. etc. I even picked up "The Salmon of Doubt", a combination "rough first draft of the next Dirk Gently book" and collection of essays which was released after his untimely death (his death being a pretty good argument for giving strenuous exercise a miss... but I digress).

In one of his essays he describes how he and his friends came up with the idea of coming up with words to describe things that there weren't currently words for, like the lovely feeling of the cool side of the pillow, or the discomfort you get when you sit down on a seat that has been warmed by someone else's arse. To label these forlornly ignored things they used the names of towns in the UK, as it seemed the appropriate thing to do. Two books were devoted to these words, "The Meaning of Liff", and the "The Deeper Meaning of Liff" - both of these books (along with "Last Chance to See") I have never owned or read, somewhat inexplicably.

I was chatting to Kat, describing how I was feeling a little hungover. "Feeling a bit duntish then?" she asked. "??" was my cunning reply.

DUNTISH (adj.)
Mentally incapacitated by severe hangover.

So I decided to peruse the list (found here) and found one or two that are applicable to Poker playing.

Every blogger knows this happen in online poker rooms every day. It's also a handy word that can be thrown around tonight if you lose to someone in the Heads Up Challenge.

ABOYNE (vb.)
To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.

This is for all the people who love buying poker texts, but reading them? Not so much.

One of the six half-read books lying somewhere in your bed.

That feeling you get just before you get kicked in the junk?

ELY (n.)
The first, tiniest inkling you get that something, somewhere, has gone terribly wrong.

And this is when your opponent flips over his cards, after you have registered an ely.

The hideous moment of confirmation that the disaster presaged in the ely (q.v.) has actually struck.

When you are telling a bad beat story that you just don't have the heart for. Also, this entire post:

OBWESTRY (abs.n.)
Bloody-minded determination on part of a storyteller to continue a story which both the teller and the listeners know has become desperately tedious.

The expression of someone hearing a bad beat story told to them in person?

To keep your mouth shut by smiling determinedly through you teeth. Smardening is largely used by people trying to give the impression that they're enjoying a story they've heard at least six times before.

Consider your vocabulary increased!


  • Excellent post, Garth! I lol irl!

    And to clarify, it wasn't just UK towns. For example Banff (Pertaining to, or descriptive of, that kind of facial expression which is impossible to achieve except when having a passport photograph taken) and Toronto (Generic term for anything which comes out of a gush despite all your careful efforts to let it out gently, e.g. flour into a white sauce, tomato ketchup on to fried fish, sperm into a human being, etc.)

    By Blogger katitude, at 7:33 PM  

  • Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, Babel Fish. That is all.

    By Blogger DP, at 7:45 PM  

  • Nice post. Douglas Adams is god. He turned me onto the Blind Watchmaker.

    By Blogger Meek, at 11:33 AM  

  • I actually picked that book up myself because of Adams' recommendation. Haven't gotten to it yet, but am looking forward to it. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a ballycumber.

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 11:35 AM  

  • Hey, you sass that hoopy Garthmeister. There's a frood who really knows where his towel is.

    By Blogger iamhoff, at 12:29 PM  

  • 42.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 11:10 PM  

  • You are one froopy dude. Now, have you read the best of all Adams' works - Last Chance to See? An ecological book with the most killer humour of all.

    I raise a VB in your honour.

    By Blogger Jules, at 5:04 AM  

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    By Blogger Oliver Drend, at 10:45 AM  

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