A handy guide to chuggers in pelmets

Helen Carter in The Guardian:

On your way into work today you may have been stopped by a chugger. It is possible you made several calls on your handy and passed many greige buildings and people wearing pelmets.

Confused? These are some of the new words and phrases to appear in the revised second edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English, the press’s biggest single-volume dictionary of current English. A chugger is a charity mugger – a person who approaches passersby in the street asking for donations or subscriptions to a charity. A handy is a mobile phone and greige is the colour between grey and beige. Pelmet is slang for a very short skirt.

The dictionary contains many more insulting words than compliments. It has 350 ways of insulting someone, but only 40 compliments such as lush [meaning very good].

Insults include old-fashioned favourites such as clot or chump and the more modern muppet or fribble and gink.

There are 50 ways to describe attractive women, including eye candy and cutie, but only 20 ways of describing good-looking men; Greek god being an extremely handsome man.

The list also reflects the increasing influence of our multicultural society. There is desi (or deshi), a person of Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi birth or descent who lives abroad. Also Hinglish – a blend of Hindi and English characterised by frequent use of Hindi vocabulary or constructions.

More here.

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