"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Friday, 6 March 2009


Someone referred to a person on the television as a wag the other day. To me, a wag was a person given to droll, roguish, or mischievous humour and it hardly seemed to fit the somewhat characterless person on the TV. I had to ask Jo what they meant. It seems WAG is an acronym used by the tabloid press to describe the Wives And Girlfriends of high profile celebrities.

It seems that the meaning I knew is not understood by modern youth and so Home & Capital Advisers has produced a dictionary of “Gran Slang”, designed to help younger people understand and communicate with their grandparents. The equity release specialists recognised there was a vast array of guides on “youth street slang” to assist older people in bridging the generational gap, but nothing on the market to aid teenagers in comprehending the language of pensioners.

The “Gran Slang” dictionary is accompanied by a glossary of “youth slang”, allowing for simple cross-referencing. No longer will the word “mint” (used by teenagers to denote approval) be confused with a request for a hard-boiled, peppermint-flavoured sweet.

Nigel Hare-Scott, managing director of Home & Capital Advisers, says: “Many of the words used by teenagers today are incomprehensible to older generations, but it must be equally baffling for younger people trying to get to grips with the lexicon of their grandparents. Understanding is a two-way street – and that’s where the “gran slang” dictionary comes in.”

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