Simply bazodi by this kicksy and sprankious dictionary

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Feeling humgrumshious? Perhaps you've just been told you're looking obsocky. Or worse, that you're a pesterous nowherian.

Those who hail from the West Indies will have already identified a rough and crude person wearing ill-matching clothes, denounced as an irritating tramp.

Those who don't, but like to have a plaster for every sore (an answer for everything) might like to consult the first ever dictionary of West Indian words and phrases - the latest dictionary to be published by the Oxford University Press.

The Dictionary of Caribbean English Usage claims to be the first attempt in 400 years to translate some of the more flamboyant West Indian expressions. Among the 20,000 words explained are puss boots (soft-soled shoes), nimbles (fleas) and the Caribbean equivalent of shanks's pony - to take taxi 11 (from the legs 11 bingo call).

People may be described as foodist (greedy), rang-a-tang (belligerent) or spree boy (someone who wants to have fun). They might be sprankious (lively and good looking), sometimish (moody and unreliable) or trickified (cunning and crafty), kicksy (lively) or simply bazodi (stunned).

A prostitute is euphemistically described as a sport girl, while a gay man is variously described as an auntie man, antiman or pantyman - expressions that are likely to leave neither of them in "goat heaven and kiddie kingdom" ( in a state of bliss). The dictionary, priced at pounds 50, has been compiled by Guyanan-born Richard Allsop, 73, who recently retired as reader in English Language and linguistics at the University of the West Indies.

A spokesman for the Oxford University Press said: "This is an inventory of the linguistic environment and life-style of the English-speaking Caribbean peoples."

Speaking from his Barbados home, Mr Allsop said: "The book is an attempt to collect 400 years of ecology, history and culture of the Caribbean. It is not meant to replace any dictionary of standard English."