Spurtle appeals for new words

Every year, the Washington Post runs its 'Mensa Invitational'. Readers are invited to take a word or phrase, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, then supply a new definition.

Never shy about pinching a good idea, Spurtle has launched its own Invitational. Readers are invited to follow the Washington Post rules with the added stipulation that definitions be relevant to Scotland, or Edinburgh, or Broughton.

We began on 2 March with 15 examples. Since then, 15 more have arrived. Keep them coming!


Bonk Festival: behaviour frowned upon in Charlotte Square.

bowels: gentle exercise for older folk.

bus rout: tram route.

cantainerisation: New Town wheelie-bin provision.

common Astair: dancer in cloth cap and donkey jacket.

cycle crack: tramline.

devolved budgie: scaled-down devolved parrot.

efficiency shavings: growing a beard.

Eminburgh: city resembling an unmade bed.

L'escargot ... bleug!: Violent reaction to French delicacy.

Evening Newt: Edinburgh journalist.

fiesco: planning permission granted for city-centre supermarket.

Flower of Sotland: beer-pump.

general erection: vague, five-yearly sense that it’s time for a change.

hastings: quick way of deciding you’re not going to vote.

Lothian and Borders Polite: what Glaswegians really think.

Louse in Multiple Occupation: primary-school class.

massage pallor:  Edinburgh worthy's complexion when recognised leaving a sauna.

Neighbourhood Witch: curtain twitcher.

neologasm: peak of excitement at the coining of a new word or expression.

Notional Curriculum: educational advance long on aspiration but short on detail.

Origanic Pleasures:  new ways with paper hats.

pork experience:  unpaid job at Crombie's.

Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Binner: overanxious recycler's diary.

residents barking: Neighbourhood Watch.

school lynch: dish best served cold to Education Convener.

speed thump: a way of encouraging drivers to slow down.

Squrtle: small organ.

Waitroes: queue for caviar.