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Diabolically Arcane

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Fang Doctoring

18 July, 2011

Nosing the dictionary for fresh word stories (we head back to the studio for a new block of Letters and Numbers in August), I came across the phrase, bait layer. Must be a fox trapper, I thought. A rabbit poisoner? Nuh-uh. This is Australian idiom, after all. A bait layer, in defence force slang, is the cook. Inspiring me to list all the other slang terms for careers, recruiting those that already exist, and inventing those that don’t.

Care to extend my early roll-call in progress?

chippie (carpenter)
sparkie (electrician)
fang doctor (dentist)
bean counter (accountant)
gazinter (maths teacher)
shrink (psychiatrist)
sawbones (surgeon)
quack (GP)
sin shifter, sky pilot (priest)
hack (journo)
flack (PR agent)
ambo (ambulance officer)
desk jockey, paper shuffler (office worker)
underwater panel beater (dish pig)

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Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.


Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

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101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

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Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

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Recent Comments

Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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