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Lichfield residents urged to redefine forgotten historic words

dictionaryWeird and wonderful words of yesteryear are being investigated once more in Lichfield.

Words such as stingo, fopdoodle and maffle were part of Samuel Johnson’s dictionary but have since fallen out of use.

And now Lichfield District Council’s tourism team, along with The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, are asking visitors to to come up with definitions for:

  • stingo
  • fopdoodle
  • maffle
  • skimbleskamble
  • twangling
  • fancymonger
  • bellygod
  • badger-legged
  • blobber
  • kissingcrust 

Elizabeth Thatcher, Tourism Manager for Lichfield District Council, said:

“These are fantastic words but their real meanings are not immediately obvious, so we thought it would be a fun way to celebrate Dr Johnson’s birthday, by asking everyone to put their thinking caps on and create their own definitions.

“To add your own definition, visit and click on the ‘define’ button next to the word you want to redefine. Or, if you need some inspiration and want to see what other people have suggested, just click on the ‘see definitions’ button.”

The best new definitions, along with Johnson’s actual definitions, will be displayed on a series of special edition postcards that will be on sale in Lichfield in 2010.

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  1. Classcrisis

    21st September, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Stingo – a hot curry. That was a real stingo, better get a bog roll in the fridge before I go to sleep.

    Fopdoodle – A dodgy haircut. That fopdoodle makes him look like a right puff.

    Maffle – A drunken fight in Subway

    Skimbleskamble – The dance a person does while being dragged out of Scales by the doormen.

    Twangling – A girl with jeans that don’t cover her thong

    Fancymonger – Drunk rich kid

    Bellygod – Fat lad

    Badger legged – Drunk fat lad

    Blobber – Drunk fat lad who’s badger legs have given up and left him lying in the street.

    Kissingcrust – Cold sore.

  2. Steve

    21st September, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    some good guess Mr Crisis, but the real defs are, I do believe;

    * stingo – a really annoying papercut that noone gives you any sympathy for

    * fopdoodle – the looks you get when your boss notices you have drawn all over the agenda papers in a really boring meeting

    * maffle – the sound you make when you have just taken a large bit of your sandwich and your phone rings when you having lunch at your desk

    * skimbleskamble – the bottlenext caused at the exit to the carpark as eveyone legs it at 5pm

    * twangling – playing with elastic bands, including firing them at the ceiling, walls, and colleagues.

    * fancymonger – the cool looking manager, who dresses well, talks well, appears connected but really is a #$%!

    * bellygod – a perfectly cooked but really cheap 14oz dead cows bum in a pub

    * badger-legged – the move you make when, attempting to step over the cat (which is lying on the bottom step of the stairs), it decideds to relocate itself to the precise spot you were intending to put your foot.

    * blobber – husband buying his wifes tampons in Tesco Express, Netherstowe

    * kissingcrust – eating your kids pizza edges in Pizza hut