"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."

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Boondock, nurdle, scrunge and the like

Whatever you think about the game of tiddlywinks, you’d probably agree that it has some of the most interesting vocabulary of any childhood game. It includes such terms as boondock, squidger, gromp, squop, scrunge, crud, penhaligon, and nurdle. I apologize that I'm not able to elaborate on the meanings of these individual terms but I still thought them worth a mention.

By the way - did you know that there is a village of Tiddleywink in Wiltshire?


  1. So any idea what boondock means in this context? I always thought it was a fairly derogatory term for rural America.

  2. "A boondock is typically used to free a wink from the top of a squop, often as a precedent to potting it. In the process, since the lower wink is no longer squopped, it is usually sent as far away as possible (technically, it's just a dock unless the lower wink goes off the table). If played properly, the upper wink normally does not move very far. Naturally, the more completely the upper wink covers the lower, the harder it is to apply force to the lower wink. As with a chip shot, the trick is to brush the upper wink gently and apply a lot of force to the lower wink. Typically the lower wink is played out squop-style, with the upper wink pushed off around the circumference of the squidger, or pushed off the bottom of the squidger. Since a boondock aims to send the wink a long way away, the wink is normally sent away from the player. "

    Any the wiser, Mark - I'm not.

    Your definition refers to a remote, usually brushy rural area; or to a remote city or town that is considered unsophisticated. The expression was introduced to English by American military personnel serving in the Philippines during the early years of the 20th century.

  3. Nope, definately none the wiser!

  4. Hi Scriptor! WIKI substantiates Mark's definition HERE