Arcane food-related vocabulary

I thought it might be fun to have a standing thread to expand users’ vocabulary of general English words (rather than names of particular food items).

BLET - v. To overripen to the point of rotting.

POTTLE - n. 64 ounces/half-gallon

GILL - n. 4 ounces (pronounced “jill”)

PINGLE - v. to play around with one’s food

LUBBERWORT - n. food without nutritional value, making one lazy/stupid; junk food

BANT - n. diet v. banting - dieting


CRUG - n. food

GLOP - v. to swallow greedily

JUBBE - n. large liquor jug

ACATERY - n. provisions storeroom

COVERSLUT - n. apron

TENTERBELLY - n. glutton, fat person

ZEGEDINE - n. a drinking cup

REELPOT - n. bartender

YEPSEN - n. handful

ALETUDE - n. obesity

BLASHY - adj. diluted/weak, as tea or beer

KEXY - adj. dry, juiceless


I don’t know if I’ll ever feel the same tying on my apron


The root definition of slut was mud or dirt, so in that sense, coverslut has no moral implications.

1 Like

What was the source of this?

It’s a list I’ve compiled, over the years, from various books and articles I’ve read, and from TV shows like QI (and tweets from the QI Elves). When it comes to language, I tend to be a quiddle.

‘Instead of pingling with your bellytimber, please glop your crug and finish your blashy drink in your zegedine.’


Some of these are GREAT words – they’re even fun to say – and deserve to be brought back.

“No more lubberwort for me; I’m banting.”

I like the ones that are more concise than the prevailing equivalencies, e.g., pottle’s two syllables vs. “a half gallon’s” four, or “64 ounces’” five. This would also be useful for texting (if I did that).

With your clear understanding of “pottle,” maybe you can explain the concept of “bushel” to me. Is it a liquid measure or a dry measure? (I think it’s getting to be the right time of day to reach for the jubbe.)

It depends on where you live:

CRAPULOUS: sick from overindulging in food and/or drink

FLOCCULATE: to form, or cause to form into, lumps

NEPHALISM: teetotalling

and a new favorite, an accidental neologism, as opposed to the above, which are actual entries in legitimate dictionaries…

GRUBBISH: a meal of fast/junk food

1 Like



I never knew that the measurement “gill” is pronounced with a soft g.

1 Like

Many years back, I believe beer used to be available in the UK in a gill measure in pubs - it’s a quarter of a pint. When my dad was off to the pub, he would usually say he was “going for a swift gill” (although the actual gill servings can’t have been around for many years). Tucked away at the back of one of the cupboards is a pewter gill sized beer mug.

My generation went for a “swift half”.


One British measure that makes no sense to me is the “stone”. AFAIK it is usually only (?) used in the context of people’s weight. For those not familiar with it, it’s 14 lb.

It makes no sense to me either. Almost everything I come across is in metric but I have no idea how much I weigh in kilogrammes (unless I do a conversion). The doctor’s surgery weighs me in kilos and I have to ask them to convert it to stones & pounds. FWIW, I currently weigh 16 stone & 3 pounds. And we still weigh newborn babies in pounds and ounces

I have a similar issue with height. No idea what it might be metric but I’m 5ft 7 inches.

Oh, we’re the same height, which is 1.73 meters in SENSIBLE measurements :rofl:

I’ve lived in the US now for almost 22 years, and I still have my phone set to C˚ vs. Fahrenheit, and continue to be blissfully clueless about yards, feet, and other nonsense.


I recall some years back, we were in South Africa and I got chatting to this young guy. The question of his height cropped up - he was tall. Now, I knew that South Africa had started using metric in the 1950s, probably before his parents were born, so was ready to start converting mentally. But, no, he responds in feet and inches - telling me that this was the only time he ever used Imperial.

1 Like

Fast, easy conversion from kilos to pounds: double it and add 10%.

1 Like

I always felt lighter when i was stoned. FWIW

My mother had a set of measuring mugs hanging in the kitchen : gill, pint, quart

1 Like