Wordaholics. Gyles Brandreth. Copyright: BBC.


BBC Radio 4 panel show. 18 episodes (3 series), 2012 - 2014. Stars Gyles Brandreth and Natalie Haynes.

Series 3, Episode 4

Gyles Brandreth and Natalie Haynes are joined by Susie Dent, Josh Widdicombe and Helen Keen to test their knowledge of words.

Further details

Former linguistics student Josh Widdicombe tells us about his favourite West Country words, lexicographer Susie Dent predicts some of the new words that might enter the dictionary this year and astronomy enthusiast Helen Keen reveals her favourite words from the language of outer space.

The letter of the week is 'L'. Josh has to guess what the World War 2 slang term 'latrinogram' meant; Natalie Haynes explains the American expression 'log-rolling'; Susie Dent gets full marks for explaining where the phrase 'limbo dancing' comes from and in a Germanic twist Helen Keen is asked under what circumstances you would act like a 'liver sausage'.

The panellists are asked to invent new words or phrases. Their new offerings include 'Antandecophobia'; 'smellationship'; the 'Josh number' and 'agony hooves'.

In a round about derogatory terms for different occupations Natalie has to guess what a 'nutbuster' is; Susie a 'needle-dodger'; Helen a 'knob thatcher' and Josh a 'honey-dipper'.

They then coin their own terms of abuse including bikopaths, fobslotch, nerds of prey and chattypedia.

Finally the panellists are asked what four Victorian slang terms meant: widdling, muffin-worry, lully-prigger and hock-dockies.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 24th September 2014
BBC Radio 4
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Gyles Brandreth Host / Presenter
Natalie Haynes Regular Panellist
Guest cast
Susie Dent Guest
Helen Keen Guest
Josh Widdicombe Guest
Writing team
Jon Hunter Writer
James Kettle Writer
Production team
Claire Jones Producer

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