Saturday 11 July 2015

Week 49 - The Grambler on combined words

Stewart was an amazing person -  A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle.  He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good.  We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer.  If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .


If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent.  It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.


Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.


Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery.  He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter.  His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige.  Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy…


What has caught my ire this week?  Made up words that’s what.  Not just street talk type words, but words which somebody has made up and has somehow got accepted into the language.  I blame Terry Wogan.  I do.  He came up with combination words like the beginning of gigantic and the ending of enormous to come up with the composite word ginormous.  Other deejays…there’s another one; we say deejay and it makes sense to anyone who speaks the English language and hasn’t been hiding in a cupboard for the past 60-odd years, but it comes from the two words disc and jockey.  Why?  Why should a man who plays records be called a disc jockey?  He only plays discs, he doesn’t ride them… Where was I?  Oh yes.  Other deejays are guilty of making up these combined words.  I think Tony Blackburn might have been the first to mix popular and fantastic to come up with poptastic.  The sad thing is, they do seem to creep into the language as if they are real words.

Making words up in this way is nothing new and this very article is written as part of a blog, a new word formed from the words web and log.  Hang on a mo.  Shouldn’t it be called a wo….maybe not.

There are dozens of them.  In geography, we hear of the Benelux countries; a contraction of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg.  I think Netherbellux would sound so much better.

How many times have you been to the cinema (or cineplex from cinema and complex, or even multiplex if it is a huge cinema complex) to watch a biographical film?  That’ll be a biopic, then.  TV is even worse for these combinations – docudrama – a dramatised documentary, docusoap – a documentary about…erm…soap, mockumentary – a programme with Ricky Gervais in it, shockumentary – a documentary that will scare the sh** out of you.

Interbreeding of animals has brought about a lot of strange combination words – geep - goat and sheep, liger – lion and tiger, wholphin – whale and dolphin, zedonk – zebra and donkey.

Dog breeders are now breeding mixtures of recognised (by the Kennel Club) breeds and forming some unrecognised (by the Kennel Club) breeds - labradoodle - labrador and poodle, chug (seriously) – chihauhau and pug, cockerpoo (again, seriously) – cocker spaniel and poodle.  There is even a mix of shitzu and poodle called a shipoo.  What a shame; I so wanted that one to be called a shitpoo.  Of course, such breeds were always around, except that, in the past, they were called mongrels.

For years British drivers who like a bevvy have been asked to blow into a breathalyser – See, breath and analyser.  Incidentally, you will be pleased to learn that the anal part of the word has nothing to do with bottoms; it’s from Greek not Latin.  Just as well, I can imagine some interesting exchanges between Mr Plod and tipsy motorist…

‘Would you mind blowing into this analyser, sir?’

‘Analysher.  Latin word I ashume.  Shertainly offisher.’

‘I meant with your mouth, sir.’

If said motorist were to drive to France he or she might want to travel through the chunnel, which is a tunnel between the UK and mainland Europe.  It’s a tunnel under the channel…Can’t think why it’s called chunnel.  Once abroad they might try speaking a language that is neither English nor French, but a combination of the two – Franglais (from Francais and Anglais which is your actual French).

Now, I have recently spotted a combination word which someone is trying to shoehorn into the language.  Can you spot it from this image?



Yes, the word is caplet.  What the f… What does caplet mean?  It might make sense if you were talking about some form of headwear; caplet = a small cap.  But no, this is a word coined to describe a tablet or pill.  It is not round, but elongated.  If it were a hollow pod which contained granules of medicine it would be called a capsule.  So, some wag in the medical industry has coined the name caplet, suggesting that this is somehow a type of drug form somewhere in between a tablet and a capsule.  It isn’t; it is simply a tablet which just happens to be the shape of a capsule.  Surely then, a caplet could equally be called a tabule, or pule (cross between a pill and a capsule).  No that is even dafter.  There are all manner of shapes used when producing drugs in tablet form; they need to be different shapes and colours to allow users to differentiate between them.  If a pill is oval, triangular, square or hexagonal do we make up a new word to describe it?  Of course we don’t.  So why caplet?  Absolute nonsense.

Time to move on, methinks.



What about the birthday honours for the 11th of July?  Which famous fellows first found their way into the world on this day?  Robert Bruce 1274 (The man with the same middle name as Rupert Bear), Thomas Bowdler 1754 (Miserable c*** - It’s meant to be ironic before you start complaining about the bad language), Gough Whitlam 1916 (Proym meenister of Oz), Reg Varney 1916 (Star of TV show mentioned in last week’s blog.  On the Buses ran from 1969 to 1973, so old Reg was aged between 53 and 57 while he was lusting after those young conductresses.  Dirty old man), Yul Brynner 1920 (Man who started shaved head fashion 40 years too soon), David Kelly 1929 (Cousin Enda.  Ask your da.), Tab Hunter 1931 (Search for diet soft drink), Georgio Armani 1934 (Tailor), John Kettley 1952 (Kettley – a bit like a kettle), Leon Spinks 1953 (How exactly does one spink?), Mark Lester 1958 (MORE???), Richie Sambora 1959 (Showoff guitarist), Suzanne Vega 1959 (Lives on the second floor), Pauline McLynn 1962 (Ahh go on go on go on go on go on), Craig Charles 1964 (Smeeeee…) and Tony Cottee 1965 (The thing about goalscorers is that they score goals).

Nothing to gramblerise?  There must be something musically significant happened on the 11th of July.  Surely.  Anything?  No?  Ah.  Found something.  On the 11th of July 1967 Kenny Rogers formed First Edition.  Is that it?  Is that the most significant thing to happen?  So, on 11th of July 47 years ago Kenny just gathers up some muso buddies and says, ‘Okay, you lot, from now on you are the First Edition.  Got that?  Me?  Well, I’ll be Kenny Rogers and.  That’s right.  Kenny Rogers and.  As in Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.  And if you don’t like it, it’ll be Kenny Rogers and the Second Edition.  Any objections?  Didn’t think there would be.’

They only had a couple of hits (in Britain, anyway) – Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town was the biggie that reached number two.  Who can remember the only other hit?  Anyone?  You.  Yes, you at the back… No, not Reuben James.  That didn’t chart in the UK.  Any other guesses?  Correct.  Something’s Burning reached number eight in 1970.  It was a song whose lyrics would certainly have upset Mrs Whitehouse.  I’m not surprised.  The words are filthy.  I was going to gramblerise the lyrics, but here they are in full…

You lie in gentle sleep beside me
I hear your warm and rhythmic breathing
I take your hand and hold it tightly
Listen, can you not hear our young hearts beating?

I kiss the sleep from your eyes
Your smile is sweeter than the morning
And a here it comes

Can't you feel it baby?
Can't you feel it, here it comes
Feel it! Feel it! Fire! Fire!

Something's burning, something's burning
Something's burning and I think it's love

And now the sun is burning brightly
We lie in love so close together
I get the feeling deep inside me
My love for you will burn forever

I cup my hands to touch your face
And once again I feel your fire
And a here it comes

Can't you feel it baby?
Can't you feel it, here it comes
Feel it! Feel it! Fire! Fire!

Something's burning, something's burning
Something's burning and I think it's love

And I think it's love, love and I think it's love

And I think it's love, love
(Can't you feel the fire keeps burnin'?)
(Can't you feel the fire keeps burnin'?)
(Can't you feel the fire keeps burnin'? Love)
And I think it's love

They want a bucket of water pouring over them, they do an’ all.




How did The Grambler’s predicting skills fare last week?  We actually won.  I say won.  We were in profit for once.  £4.14 return from our £2.20 stake money.  Can The Grambler improve on that this week.  Let’s see what this week’s random choices are…

Meeting – Time – Horse – Odds

Newmarket        4.20            Ballydoyle                    1/2

Tipperary           4.25            Diakali                                   10/11

York                    5.10            Shawaahid                            7/4

Ascot                   5.40            Think Ahead                         5/4

Hamilton Park  6.45            Alaskan Wing                       10/11 

…and if the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of… fanfare please…



1519?  That was when Leonardo Da Vinci died.  [What twenty past three? – Ed.]



It’s Teaser time.  Yay!  Last week I asked you which English football club is geographically the furthest south as well as being the furthest west.  The answer is Plymouth Argyll.

One for this week?  Let’s have one relating to the World Cup.  Who is the only goalkeeper to win the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball (best player) Award?




Once again, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer.  If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration.  Just point your doctor in the direction of .




And finally, Cyril?  And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr R. Chapman who continues our dodgy record cover series with this doubtful offering…




Happy grambling.


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