None of the warringly topical dictionaries include this word, close on 40 years old. It is also used by estate agents for a place that might look a cupboard but is an ideal venue for any amount of cat-swinging. Not a conscious pun on tardy, Tardis is an acronym for time and relative distance in space. Perhaps tomorrow's BBC2 Dr Who evening will expand that. Meanwhile those blue boxes have vanished - as if somebody had uttered the dread syllables: "Ex-ter-min-ate!"