To mark the centenary of Roald Dahl’s birth this week we are publishing the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary. Books including Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits have inspired generations to play with language and make up words.
Some Dahlesque words for your everyday:
A word for the weekend…
Hopscotchy – adjective
If you feel hopscotchy, you feel happy and cheerful, as if you have drunk a whole bottle of frobscottle.
‘Whenever I is feeling a bit scrotty,’ the BFG said, ‘a few gollops of frobscottle is always making me hopscotchy again.’ – The BFG.
A term for those you know who let all their hair grow…
Hirsute – adjective
Hirsute is a very useful word to describe The Twits because it means hairy or untrimmed, so Mr Twit is hirsute and so is Mrs Twit’s unweeded garden.
Splendiferous – adjective
‘Your grandad,’ he said, ‘my own dad, was a magnificent and splendiferous poacher. It was he who taught me all about it.’ – Danny the Champion of the World.
Did you know? The word splendiferous was not invented by Roald Dahl. It is an old word that was first used more than five hundred years ago. Another old word with the same meaning is splendacious.
Snozzberry – noun snozzberries
A type of berry you can eat.
‘Lovely stuff, lickable wallpaper!’ cried Mr Wonka, rushing past. ‘It has pictures of fruits on it – bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, pineapples, strawberries, and snozzberries…’ – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary
From aardvark to zozimus, a real dictionary of everyday and extra-usual words.
Available now from all good bookstores.