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British slang for a rich or upper-class person. Perhaps from “tuft”=the gold tassel on a titled Oxford/Cambridge graduate’s cap.


Something that causes fear or anxiety; an evil spirit. Uncertain origin ?Welsh “bwgan bo”=the devil.

Mythical creature that causes problems on aircraft. Uncertain origin but from the 1940’s and possibly alternation of “goblin.”

Bad or unpleasant; filthy or dirty. Uncertain origin. ? Old French “nastre”=low social status < “villanastre”=ignoble, infamous.

Weak, cowardly, ineffectual person. Uncertain origin but probably from “whimper”=to whine, cry < onomatopoeia – the sound of sobbing.

Most suited to a set of conditions; most healthy. Uncertain origin, poss. Old English “fitt”=strong (but only one example found).

Uneducated, unsophisticated countryside dweller. Figurative use of English dialect “yokel”=green woodpecker.

Mythical Pennsylvania woods dweller that dissolves in its own tears. First mentioned 1910 and probably invented at that point.

British English slang for tired out or broken. Uncertain origin, probably C16th “knacker”=one who buys and slaughters old horses.

Mocking title for a pompous, pretentious official. Nonsense word coined 1754 by dramatiste Samuel Foote. “pan”=all < Greek “pan”