The Addle-brained Dictionary

First, a brief apology for the long gap between posts. Some of you know I’ve been in hospital. I’m on the road to recovery and had this post in reserve for an occasion when I wasn’t up to writing anything long. Enjoy!


It has often been noted that people using the internet make many typos. More, it is thought, than typists using typewriters. The reasons for this are many and varied but it is also known that some of the typos are made frequently by a lot of people and have become accepted words in their own right. Others have quirky and fascinating meanings which the keyboard users didn’t quite intend. Some have been collected here, with their new meanings. Notice that some of the words appear to be normal dictionary fodder, but are used in strange and beautiful ways, quite unconnected with their original meanings. In some cases examples are given of the usage of words where this is thought necessary or appropriate. There are, to date, no entries for U, X and Z. It is possible that words beginning with X and Z are sufficiently rare to cause the writer to pause and think. The lack of a list for U is inexplicable. There was, it must be admitted, a dearth of entries for M, even more inexplicable than for U; but during the compilation of this list three turned up, or sneaked in… The author/compiler has a deeply held belief that words have a life of their own.

Note that the words in this dictionary have almost all been genuinely used in the ways outlined below online or in writing by the compiler, friends, colleagues and writers (or students) whose work the compiler has been reading: e.g. the first word appeared in a story the compiler was reading and was quite clearly meant to be read as ‘absentia’. One word has merely been heard. Another appears in stone. The compiler takes no responsibility for the truth of the definitions but suggests the reader searches his/her heart to reach a rational conclusion. The compiler goes through life reading meanings that are not there into things that are. For example, notices warning ‘heavy plant crossing’ invariably suggest Triffids and there is always a faint worry on behalf of an ‘alarmed door’. So typos lead down delightful primrose paths into a maze of confusion. Anyone is welcome to join in!


abscentia… this is the form to use if someone is being judged ‘in absentia’ and their absence really stinks of foul play or evil intent.

adaptions…adaptations that are carried out very quickly wiht little or no attention to detail.

adn…a form of ‘and’ used when the speaker/writer is at their wits’ end. “I have a lot to do: wash the dishes, cook the tea, make the beds and feed the cat. Adn then the phone rings.”

annoyued… a cross between annoyed and fatigued, used when the speaker/writer is ‘fed up to the back teeth’ with something. “I am annoyued with that cat; it keeps scratching the sofa even though I have bought it a variety of scratching posts.”

anopther… literally ‘another’ but said between pursed lips as in: “You mean there’s anopther set of papers for me to deal with? I thought it was home time!”


badk… extremely bad; possibly even ‘f..king’ bad. “That is a really badk cat. It has eaten my dinner.”

bedf… the kind of bed you sink into with an ‘umph’ of relief after a really hard day. “I’m so tired; I really need my bedf!

bear insurance… presumably intended to refer to basic insurance (e.g. the legal minimum requirement for cars). It probably insures the driver against basic predations by bears, or perhaps insures teddy bears for long distance travel.

bereak… a break that seems to happen in slow motion. “I knew the plate was going to bereak when it hit the floor; I tried to catch it but I was too slow.”

Boogoe Babies… a variant of a toddler group music and dance activity more often called Boogie Babies. The Boogoe’ form is used by grandparents who are desperate for their offspring to take their toddlers away to annoyue someone else. (see ‘annoyue’)”My daughter is taking my grandson to Boogoe Babies this afternoon; such a great idea and so good for him!”

bootle… a very long thin bottle. Nothing to do with the UK place of the same name.

BVSH HOVSE… this is shown in block capitals herebecause it is the way the name appears, carved in stone, above the BBC centre, Bush House. It would be kind to suggest it is easier to carve a V than a U but the presence of a perfectly executed O and two examples of S suggest this is not the case. Possibly an attempt to look very erudite and somehow ‘Latin’ but as it is not Latin it just succeeds in confusing the reader. May be connected with unpronounceable and frequently misunderstood regional accents within Britian.


cacoon… this is like the cocoon of a moth or butterfly but is constructed from sheets, blankets and any clothes that happened to be lying around. It surrounds a child who does not want to wake up. Especially if they are late for school.

calanders… calendars somehow crossed with cullenders so that the days and dates slip through the holes, leaving the user bewildered about where the time has gone. Possibly connected with vague recollections of the town of Callander in Scotland.

catchin (catchin up)… the shortened spelling is used with the preposition to imply speed in the attempt to catch up – there is no time for a ‘g’.

celebrat… this is what the average teenager does at a birthday party.

childlren… very slippery childlren e.g. in a soapy bathtub

Christams… the origin of this is obscure but may have some connection with Australian Christmas biscuits.

cirriculum… the part of the curriculum concerned with cirrus clouds.

cofotable… applied to a state of comfort reached by curling up as small as possible in a cosy armchair.

commentns… a lot of comments, usually made online by posts or replies, where people are all aware that others in the group are nodding agreement as they read.

compiation… a very brief compilation of only two or three items, often brought together as a kind of apology or expiation.

consolide… employers sometimes attempt to consolide jobs or work structures by packing staff and tasks so densely that the original aims cannot be met in the resulting crush and collision. They should, of course, consolidate instead.

crokscrew … a very curly corkscrew which doesn’t quite work. The compiler’s family bought one recently and it was too short for most real corks though it might have worked with plastic ones.


dicionary… a short dictionary that lacks a lot of the elements usually found in normal dictionaries. In other words, a dicionary like this one.

dleighted… A slightly posh, slightly effete, Brit expression. “Dleighted to meet you; how’d’ye do?”

doctro/docotr… a doctor in a hurry who is so anxious to see the next patient that he/she ignores the last few words of the one currently in the surgery.

dowqnloaded… sometimes there is a bug in the computer and a download fails or partially fails. This is known as dowqnloading. The ‘q’ is silent.

draging… dragging really slowly and causing anger/rage in the process.

dwon… it means down but is used when downward movement is somewhat erratic as when someone falls dwonstairs.


exceptipons… used for exceptions that are day/date related. “Parking costs £1 per hour or part thereof on most days. The exceptipons are Bank Holidays and some saint’s days.”

extremelt… extremely hot and runny. “The pudding had an extremelt chocolate sauce.”


feeback… Writers hope for feeback on their work, feeback that will lead to more sales, e.g. good reviews. Some writers actually pay reviewers and this practice is known as double feeback.

firdge… a fridge with a lot of sludge and mould in those little hard-to-clean places at the back.

flat… in UK this can mean horizontal and/or even but can also mean an apartment. Foreigners have been known (to the compiler) to search the ‘flat racing results’ in the newspapers for accommodation, with little success and great discouragement. Natives find it hard to explain through their uncontrollable laughter.

fo … a variant of ‘of’ used with the word ‘course’ as in ‘fo course’. This is usually said in a way that implies the speaker has slight contempt for the audience. “Fo course it is!! You should know that, Stoopid!!”

fond…. means found when used with something the writer or speaker is actually fond of and has found or rediscovered. “I fond the teddy bear under the bed!” or “I fond another typo.”

fould… foul with extra wrinkles. “The bulldog was in a fould temper.”

frim… a lightweight firm that produces trashy items or provides trivial services.

frineds… fine friends, as opposed to fiends, who are the kind of friends in the saying, ‘With fiends like these, who needs enemies?”


gald… glad – so gald you are in a whirl.

gogeous… a variant of ‘gorgeous’, when the speaker or writer is taking a deep breath on account of the extreme ‘gogeousness’ of the person or thing observed.

gril… a girl, the sort who asks a lot of questions.


heersefl… herself, at leisure, stretched out, perhaps beside a pool. “She went to the spa to pamper heersefl in the jacuzzi.”

hooping… hoping but displaying extreme anxiety with alternating hope and despair.


i… a lower case version of the personal pronoun. Used when the writer/speaker has low self esteem, either in general or in this particular instance. In extreme cases the pronoun disappears. “We went to IKEA but i couldn’t find anything i liked and we wasted a whole afternoon because couldn’t make my mind up.”

icob… a variant of icon, used in the context of screen icons for social networking sites. The makers of these icons sometimes get frustrated and wish they could ‘cob’ (Brit slang) or throw away the one they are working on. Hence ‘icob’.

indivbidual… used for individual portions of very special desserts.

ineficient… so inefficient that the person in question can’t even spell.

interrupt… sometimes incorrectly used in place of ‘interpret’, leading to confusion that no interpreting will put right. “He interrupted her actions to mean she was happy with the arrangements.”

intyernet… someone else’s internet. “Your intyernet skills are lacking.”

ititnerary…. a pornographic journey plan


juat…. used in place of ‘just’ to express surprise. “Juat a moment!! What’s going on?”


kitcehn… this is the kind of kitchen found in a flat sought by a foreign (or dyslexic) student. It is usually small, poky, and fitted with second-hand appliances of dubious safety. The compiler has known foreign students attempt to amend the spelling to something that to them seems more likely and was once informed that a student was now the proud owner/tenant of two rooms and a chicken.


lackedf… used when the thing that was lacking was f…ing essential

lastest… this appears in two wholly different contexts. It is an extreme form of ‘last’, as in: “She bought the very lastest one in the shop,” and is also occasionally preferred to the past tense of ‘to last’ as in: “Old fashioned washing machines lastest and lastest and lastest, not like modern ones that wear out in a couple of years.”

leasst… an extreme form of ‘least’.

legivtivacy… this has so far never been spotted in print (or online) but has been heard in a TV interview with a politician whose first language was not English. Assumed to mean ‘legitimacy’.

liips… lips that have been enhanced with botox injections.

lunnch… a long, lingering lunch, of the kind once enjoyed by bankers but now more usually the preserve of retired ‘ladies who lunnch’.


mew… as in ‘here are some mew typos’. Contrary to popular belief this has nothing to do with cats. The ‘mews’ in question are the stables or falconry buildings connected with aristocratic property and nowadays converted into new (or mew) bijou residences for aristocratic descendants who can’t afford servants (or falcons) but can afford, and want, a nice city pad.

moeny…so little money that someone feels forced to complain about it; usually connected with low wages or high prices.

mopes… a contraction of ‘my hopes’, usually rather vain hopes . It’s the unlikelihood of these mopes ever being realised which makes the writer miserable.


nieghbours.. very close neighbours, the sort you can hear through the party wall when they are shouting at the TV or each other. An alternative spelling is niegghbours, used when most of what you can hear is giggles. (Or, just possibly, a print rendering of Australian/Cockney neighbours.)

npw… a variant of ‘now’, spoken or written in a peremptory fashion with a hint of capital letters and pursed lips.


occassion… a very special occasion with a lot of sparkling wine and/or champagne.


paaassing… sometimes time paaasses so slowly that the only way to describe it is to add a few ‘a’s.

perforted… perforated with very small pinpricks.

phschological… first seen in the sentence:As a phschological study it was a disaster. Clearly the word has much in common with ‘scatalogical’ and saying it aloud suggests s..t hitting fans.

plain… occasionally seen in phrases such as ‘a higher plain of existence’ which immediately suggests high Russian steppes or the highlands of Central Africa.

possilbe… possible but improbable.

priacy… the privacy of pirates who prefer to do their darker deeds out of the public eye.

proative… creatively proactive.

psh… posh but very small. “I bought a very psh handbag last week; it doesn’t have room for my glasses.” For American readers, a handbag is a purse. Brit readers – don’t go there – you would never put glasses in a Brit purse and I have no idea what a Brit purse is in American.


quicklcky…very fast and rather jerky.

quitely… quite quietly.


ray… a tray. This is connected with the children’s song Twinkle. twinkle, little star. In a playground version the star is said to be shining like a tea-tray, presumably a metal one. Seen recently in the sentence ‘I need a perforted baking ray for my halogen cooker’ . (see ‘perforted’.)

remebering… remembering in a rather fuzzy fashion.

reside… used instead of ‘preside’ in the phrase ‘reside over the proceedings’ where the proceedings are presumably to take place where the person who will preside lives/resides.

restrauant… a restaurant frequented by young people playing truant from school or college, or by adults playing truant from their jobs.

roat… used instead of ‘roast’ when the ingredients remain inexplicably raw. “We had roat parsnips with our Christams dinner but the turkey was well cooked. (see ‘Christams’.)

role.. sometimes confused with ‘roll’. Examples: “He’s on a role and he’s acting like an idiot” and “There is very little foil left on the role – a small piece will have to act the part of a big one.”

royalities…this is the word that authors use when the mismatch beween the royalties they had expected and the reality becomes apparent.


Sanatas… musical Santas who sing Jingle Bells instead of saying, ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’

scenary…rather watery scenery.

si-fi… a form of sci-fi in which the underlying science is incorrect or plain silly.

somehwere… a variant of ‘somewhere’ used in circumstances such as: ‘I know I had it somehwere

but I can’t find it!’ and possibly in ideas such as: ‘Somehwere over the rainbow.’

sontacted… contacted by a method involving sound, especially Skype.

stream… occasionally used in place of ‘steam’ as in: I usually stream the vegetables but today I roated them. (See ‘roat’.) N.B. still connected with moisture.

swtiched… when young girls were expected to sew samplers and spent most of the time pricking their fingers with the needles, it was said that they ‘swtiched’ industriously.


tact… sometimes used in the phrase ‘in tact’ as in: He checked the injured man to see if everything was in tact.’ This use denotes extreme (and possibly unnecessary) tact on the part of the person doing the checking.

teh… a common variant of ‘the’. Prolonged internet usage will probably add this form to the major dictionaries.

thank… may be used in place of ‘think’ as in: ‘I thank that’s normal’. Probably denotes thankfulness on the part of the speaker or writer for the truth/normality of their thought.

thrid… a variant of ‘third’. Tends to give the mental impression of a grid, a graph or perhaps a pie chart. May also be used by employers who want to reduce their workforce by a ‘thrid’.

too… a variant of ‘to’ as in: I wonder what they are up too. Suggests a longing to know.

tpape… older people, familiar with cassette and video recorders, will recognise this as a type of tape, one previously used for recording but now unwanted and available for re-use.

Tudsday… an extra day of the week, coming between Tuesday and Wednesday . Experienced by people who don’t know what day of the week it is; it is probably Tudsday.



vein… a variant of ‘vain’ e.g. His mopes were in vein. (See ‘mopes’.) If this is used observers should be aware that the speaker/writer/character may be suicidal.

viewibgs… a variant of ‘viewings’ used when the person who has to view e.g. a new apartment, has a bad cold and doesn’t want to miss the appointment and of course doesn’t care about infecting the agent who is showing them round. It could, of course, be the agent who has the cold and a desperate desire not to miss commission.

vistim… a distant victim, such as the victim of internet scams.


Wander… sometimes used as a variant of the name ‘Wanda’; this spelling implies that the bearer of the name is somewhat flighty.

waht…a variant of ‘what’, only used in a question, usually with an implication of disbelief. “Waht did you say?” Always emphasised or printed in italics.

workds/worrkds…wicked words. The alternative spelling with a double ‘r’ is the Scots variation.

wrold… the world, meaning the planet itself, which is, of course, very old.

wya… the way, but maybe not the most direct way. “I’ll show you the wya home but I hope you don’t mind if we just go to A,B and C first.”



yoursefl… yourself when you are in a flat spin.


Have you any to add? Have you any further definitions? I’d love to hear from you!

12 thoughts on “The Addle-brained Dictionary

    • Yes – Spoonerism works with the spoken word when the speaker mixes the parts of the word so that the result is either nonsense or an amusing alternative. There are not usually any additions or subtractions. Typos, of course, are by their nature typed!! They often involve the changing of one letter, sometimes one that is close on the keyboard, and sometimes either leaving a letter out or adding extras. They have a life of their own and creep into rewrites and edited pieces. I have a vision of typo gremlins in the very heart of my laptop – or maybe even in cyber space – waiting to change what I think I have written! It is almost impossible to catch all your own typos because your brain reads what it thinks it wrote.

      • creep into rewrites and edited pieces
        And this reminds me ‘Good Omens’

        And he [Aziraphale] had a complete
        set of the Infamous Bibles, individually named from error’s in typesetting.
        These Bibles included the Unrighteous Bible, so called from a printer’s error which caused it to
        proclaim, in I Corinthians, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall inherit the Kingdom of God?”; and
        the Wicked Bible, printed by Barker and Lucas in 1632, in which the word not was omitted from the
        seventh commandment:, making it “Thou shaft commit Adultery.” There were the Discharge bible, the
        Treacle Bible, the Standing Fishes Bible, the Charing Cross Bible and the rest.

        As one writer said, Andrzej Sapkowski if my memory serves, religious publishing houses have best typesetters, cause Moses has to STAND on the Mount Sinai without fail, he absolutely can’t do anything other there. In Polish it’s the difference of one letter to, ehm, very indecorous meaning. *g*

  1. Oh, and there’s a joke yet!

    A young novice in the scriptorium asks an old scribe: “Father, how are we sure that the Scripture is proper?”.
    “Oh,” says the scribe, “we copy it from older editions, and they’re copied from older yet, and so on, from the beginning.”
    “And if we make a mistake?”
    “No, no! Impossible! Wait here, I’ll show you.”
    The old scribe goes away, the novice waits and waits, and the scribe doesn’t come back. So, the novice follows him to the library. And there the old scribe is sitting on the floor and sobbing woefully, books scattered around him, two of them open on his lap. The novice picks up one book and reads on the open page: Thou shalt be living in celibacy. He picks up the other one, older, and reads: Thou shalt be living in a cell, brother.
    (In original: będziesz żył w celibacie and będziesz żył w celi, bracie.)

  2. As you know, I love your dictionary. And the extras in the comments are hilarious. I imagine it won’t be long before some common cyber/texting abbreviations are added to dictionaries too:P

    • Along with such tried and tested typos as ‘teh’?! Really, I ought to have credited you with helping to compile this or at least egging me on, but I wasn’t sure what name you’d want me to use, so I just left you out…

      • You mean you thought I might want everyone to know some of them were my typos!!!???? That’s okay, I’m happy to remain an anonymous contributor:PP *g*

  3. Oh Namesesahke 2…. Dear me, what a lot of ribticklers this is. And so many I suffer from, it seems to be a form of distrophey hahahah

    And the BIBLES!!! Oh ho…. that shall commit —– wonderful!

    Bless you. adn thanks! *g*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.