Thao dibbly todge-bellied yawnups was tiggling down Widgington passage chasing goolybugs

No its not some new geekspeak you'll end up having to buy the "dummies" guide for but some of the local dialect vocabulary we want to celebrate as part of our quest to localise Microsoft Office.  Kudos to the first person that can translate the title of this post..img028

Today, on St.Georges day and as it happens, the birth and deathday of Shakespeare, we began our project to create local custom dictionaries for Microsoft Office.  It was a privilage to meet Johnny Robinson (below and right), the curator of English accents and dialects at the British Library.  Johnny and I were doing a series of interviews (I think about 20!) with local radio stations today to enlist the help of people all over the UK with the project. 

Do you know a word that people use from wherever you are from in the UK that we could add?  if so please will you email the word, a definition and where in the UK it is used to

IMAGE_041We'll be gathering in all these amazing and  interesting words over the next few weeks until the end of May and Johnny will be judging which words should go into a set of custom dictionaries we will then create.  These will be available to download in June which will mean Microsoft Office will understand your local dialect, spell checking words correctly instead of giving you the red wavy line.

We'll also be giving away 5 copies of Microsoft Office to a random selection of entries - there is no limit to the number of times you can enter. 

 We should be proud of the rich heritage in local language dialect we have in the UK - for 1500 years, these variations have been developing and changing.  It's been 50 years since the last survey of this type was done in the UK and it took 11 years to complete.  Now by using new technology we are going to try and do it in about 6 weeks.  I was so impressed by Johnnie's knowledge and his ability to do pretty much any accent thanks to his detailed knowledge of phonetics.  It was great to hear the range of locals who phoned in - including one caller from Norfolk who sounded like he was actually driving his tractor at the time and had to shout "SORRY!" to some passerby during his call 🙂  The lead story on Norfolk radio today was regarding a coffin that had been found left in Norwich high street.  We also had "Ugly Phil" on Kerrang! radio making jokes throughout and Radio Belfast quizzing me on my Norn Irn phrases learnt growing up with my irish parents.. (I hope I didn't let down the side there!) 

Comments (16)

  1. Bart Wessels says:

    My Wycombe Dialect is not what it used to be but I think "Thao dibbly todge-bellied yawnups was tiggling down Widgington passage chasing goolybugs" means:

    A intoxicated, pot bellied stupid person was slowly moving to Widgington passage chasing ladybirds


  2. dstrange says:

    I am very impressed Bart!  I hope you’ll be sending us some choice Wycombese!

  3. Bart Wessels says:

    That will be difficult Darren! I translated is using Live search! 🙂

    It gave me one hit that gave me all the words I needed…

    Cheers, Bart

  4. dstrange says:

    since that one has already gone see if you know what this means;

    ‘Gan an git yersel on the toon ye divvent kna what yer missin!’  

    and one more for fun.  in which part of the country are these words commonly used?

    • aald = old

    • bad = sore, painful

    • badly = ill, unwell (a bad ‘ed is a headache)

    • barie = good or nice

    • cack = bad, horrible or awful

    • clarty = muddy or messy

    • cushty = good, nice

    • gash = useless, poor (it’s gash weather outside)

    • kaylied = intoxicated

    • la’al = small

    • ladgeful = embarrassing

    • radge, radgy = mad

    • reet = right

    • shant = embarrassed, ashamed or shy

    • slape = slippery or smooth as in slape back

    if you can think of some more, mail them in to with the definition and location

  5. Bart Wessels says:

    This one is hard! I, as an non native speaker, tried using Live search, but there is no direct hit for the whole sentence….

    So I’m passing the Kudos for this one!


  6. Simon Murphy says:


    having lived and worked in the toon I can totally agree wth the first one.

    A few of the others look Cumbrian, but could just be northern.

    See you @ the office user do on Fri?



  7. alasdairford says:

    Cumbrian specials – like lowp over yon lat – (jump over that gate) or lonin (lane to a house) are great – slape is definately cumbrian,  as is clarty – which is chracterised by a particular sticky cumbrian mud. (my wife and her family are from the Eden Valley)

    I’m a Derbyshire lad meself so get exposed to Notts, Yorks and Derbys dialects favourites are

    neb = look (yorks)

    jitty = alleyway between houses (derbys)

    going for a lag = off to to urinate (Notts)

    scran snap or bait – packed lunches

    reet can also mean very around here as in reet cold

    y’sen – seems to be fairly common for yourself

    and my absolute favourite is Nesh which is a adjective  or a noun and means that you feel the cold (many southerners are Nesh or a Nesh)

    I’m not sure gash is a word for polite company 🙂

  8. "Open"XML is "Open" as in marketing "Open". It wraps old stykle, propreatary doc files. "Open" my ass. It is tainted with MS patents. try to implement "Open"XML and get sued.. that Microscum’s idea of "Open"

    Microsoft has a 10 billion dollar profit margin on its cash-cow, MS-Office. Microsfot holds a monoplly position in the Office space. Does Microsoft have an interest in making the file formats to its cashcow open such that very vendor out there can offer a competing product and threaten Microsoft’s monoply position?

    No it doesn’t. And that is why Microsoft’s collection of propaganda  whores is working over time. That is why the weasel worders, the spin doctors vent their rectums all day. That is why these slimey, stinking, amorphous concgolomarates of cells, mutants of tumors like Darren Strange have their gaseous excrement sent to the press all day.

  9. Liar says:

    Well Darren, you as Microshaft;s UberLugnerSturmbahnfuhrer, well, you are in need off some additional propganda training. Your lying has worn out, It has becoming boring an predictable.

  10. dstrange says:

    so which bit of the "covenant not to sue" was hard for you to understand?  

    It does not wrap the old format, it is a total rewrite.  Go read the documentation before making silly statements.  10 billion is the revenue not the profit by the way.

    Apart from you being ill-informed and rude, what do you bring to the blogging conversation?  You can’t even seem to leave your comment on a relevant post..  

    your spelling and grammar could do with some work too by the way, if your productivity suite offers that feature of course..

  11. Spinmeister says:

    Rude? Sure Microsoft is polite, very polite..Look , you go talk to the trail of corporate corpses that your employer left behind, you do a little digging into how your employer ‘competed’. You do a liitle bit of reading into the  discovery material that your employer has had to spit out in the plethory of lawsuits it has enjoyed. You pay a visit to your lovely CEO when he again feels the urge to throw chairs around and feels to need to f”’k the CEO of some competitor.

    Rude? Give me a break.

    Now, "Open"XML  can include old style Office formats. Out the door goes the "Open".

    What’s wrong with the covenant not to sue? How about that it only applies to ECMA "Open"XML? Huh? Isn’t this wonderful, all your employer has to do release a product bases on "fully enhanced" "Open"XML 1.1 (Marketing chior: "Innovation!") and the competetion is screwed again, monopoly position saved!

    Now Darren, you explain to me how it is in the interest of a monopolist to base its products on a standard that can be used be every competetitor out there. Now Darren, you explain to be how it is in the interest of your employer to push "Open" XML as such a standard?.

    Now Darren, you tell me why having a single standard is hard for you?

    Hmmmm… Let’s give a try.. users being able to ditch a product and replace it with a compatible one of their liking and still be able to access their documents without a hitch? Boy, there goes the 98% market share, there goes the 10 billion dollar revenue stream/profit margin or whatever. Might it be Darren, that this is the reason that a single standard is not good for you? Is that the reason, Darren, that "Open" in "Open"XML is "Open" as in marketing "Open"?

    Well Darren,  you need to spin and lie better. You will need it, scumbag. The world has learned to interpret the verbal excrement that regularly comes out of your employer’s representatives orrifices.

  12. dstrange says:

    you are rude. I am a person.  A person with integrity and someone who is open to understanding other points of view.  We may disagree but don’t come on my blog anonymously and start this kind of vitriol if you are not prepared to even tell us who you are.  I’m happy to discuss things with anyone on my blog but not if you are personally insulting and want to do that with no accountability.  In the end, this is my home and you will treat it, the other guests who debate here, and me with basic respect.  I am not Microsoft and I will not defend everything the company does and has done.  

    You seem to be saying that Microsoft will be able to sue you as soon as Ecma updates the standard?  That is not true.  We can’t use ODF because a) it was not sufficiently defined for the 2007 dev cycle and b) it does not cater for the backwards compatibility use case which Open XML was specifically designed to address.  We also fully supported the ratification of ODF through the OASIS process.  I guess we could use the config tags in ODF to literally dump all the MS capablities not defined in ODF but there is no sematic richness in doing that and it ends up being much like a binary in a cdata block.  That doesn’t help solve the problem of backwards compatibility or fully describing office docs in XML.  

    I’m sorry you feel so personally agrieved by Microsoft that you can’t separate me from my employer.  I’m not engaging with you further from here, I’m sorry, until you have the courage not to be anonymous.  I hate to do that but you leave me no choice if you are intent on being so personally offensive.

  13. Opinion says:


    It is as simple as 1+1.

    The purpose of an open, vendor neutral, standard is that you have only one. This way a leveled playing field is created, a market on which multiple vendors can compete with mutually compatible offerings, thus increasing consumer choice, reducing prices and increasing quality.

    Microsoft holds a monopoly position in the office suite space. Microsoft derives a 10 billion dollar revenue stream from this monoply position. Microsoft has, and will, act in its own self interest. It is in Microsoft’s self interest to maintain its monoply position. Basing its products on open, vendor neutral, standards, and adhering to them, would make it vulnerable to the aforementioned free market forces, thus endangering its monopoly position, and eventually undermining its monoply position. As a consequence, when Microsoft claims to be pushing an open standard, it isn’t. Adhering to, let alone, pushing a truly open standard would be suicidal for Microsoft.

    And indeed, the purportedly open standard that Microsoft is pushing, OpenXML, isn’t one. In typical Microsoft style Microsoft presents it as being an open standard, it has Open in it’s name, Microsoft calls it an open standard, it has successfully submitted it to ECMA, to the superficial observer it looks like one, but upon closer inspection it turns out not to be one.

    OpenXML documents can incorporate old-style proprietary MS-Office documents, this fact alone is sufficient to disqualify it as an open standard: a competitor to Microsoft is unable to implement this part of OpenXML, only Microsoft can. Moreover, the ECMA Open XML documentation makes references to old-style MS Office behavior. Thus, a vendor having the desire to compete with Microsoft in the office space by bringing a faithful OpenXML based product to the market cannot, it lacks the necessary intimate knowledge of previous versions of MS-Office. Only Microsoft has this knowledge. Thus only Microsoft can bring a faithfully ECMA OpenXML based offering to the market.

    In addition to that, Microsoft holds patent on the OpenXML format, thereby making competitors that seek to bring ECMA OpenXML compliant products to the market vulnerable to patent litigation and/or extraction of license fees. Microsoft has issued what it calls a ‘covenant not to sue’. However, this ‘ covenant not to sue’ covers ECMA OpenXML only, and the patents it covers regard only a partial implementation of OpenXML, a full implementation of ECMA OpenXML requires the use of Microsoft patents that are not covered by the ‘covenant not to sue’. Yet again, this is typical Microsoft spin. It is called a ‘covenant not to sue’, its wording is such that to the superficial reader it looks like one, but it is not.

    All this offers Microsoft several scenarios to leverage its office suite monopoly position to maintain this position:

           o Base its own products on a modified version of ECMA OpenXML. When Microsoft keeps the modification secret, this act alone is a significant hurdle for a competitor to compete with MS-Office: competing offerings are incompatible with the Microsoft product that has a market share of around 95%. Thus, competing offerings will bite the dust.

    o Base its offering on a non-ECMA OpenXML flavor of OpenXML. The ‘covenant not to sue’ does not apply to Microsoft’s non-ECMA version of ECMA OpenXML, thereby making a competitor trying to compete with MS-Office vulnerable to litigation and/or extraction of license fees.

    o Microsoft brings a faithfull ECMA OpenXML based product to the market. A competitor trying to implement the full ECMA OpenXML specification needs to use Microsoft patents that are not covered by the ‘covenant not to sue’ and is therefore vulnerable to patent litigation and/or extraction of license fees. Thus, competitors can only safely bring inferior, crippled, offerings to the market.

    Microsoft claims that it can not use ODF, a vendor neutral, non-patent encumbered, open standard, for backward compatibility reasons. Microsoft, however, has been a member of the committee that developed the ODF open standard. Had Microsoft been interested in basing its products on open standards it would have taken the opportunity to have its backwards compatibility needs expressed in the ODF standard. It has failed to do so. And from the former it is obvious why it failed to do so. A vendor neutral, true, open standard is not an opportunity for Microsoft, it is a competitive threat and not a minor one: it is threatening to undermine its monoply position.

    This vendor neutral non-patent encumbered, open standard must thus be fought tooth and nail. Microsoft, however, cannot ignore the  market’s cry for more openness. Hence it is trying to position its own "open" standard as the alternative to ODF. An alternative that is an open standard only in name, an alternative that gives Microsoft the competitive edge, an alternative that allows competitors only to bring inferior offerings to the market without having to fear patent litigation and/or royalty extraction.

    In fighting ODF Microsoft has brought to bear a sickening, stomach turning and, at the same time, laughable, amount of spin, lies, rhetorical tricks, half truths, and machinations.

    First and foremost, its pushing of OpenXML, the standard that is open in name but isn’t, as an alternative to a truly open standard. Further,

    trying to frame the  free market, rather than as a market of mutually interchangeable products as a market of mutually incompatible standards (of which one isn’t a standard). Trying to confuse the concept "open standard" with "open source", thereby framing the problem Microsoft has with ODF as some kind of open source versus proprietary software battle (which it isn’t: ODF is there to be used by open source and proprietary vendors alike, including Microsoft).

    Trying to use shortcomings, real of perceived, of its own making to its own advantage: Microsoft claiming to not being able to use ODF because of backwards compatibility, Microsoft, having refused to offer ODF support in its own offering, arguing that they where thus "excluded" from a bid in the ODF mandating Commonwealth of Massachusetts (the ground for this "exclusion" lay thus within Microsoft itself), issuing the "OpenXML is open because XML is open" (this one is so silly that one cannot help but wonder whether the kind soul that uttered these words suffered from wholesale lobotomy: XML is basically is system of envelopes that can contain content and other envelopes, the content of a envelope can be proprietary, and in OpenXML that content can be proprietary, therefore OpenXML is not open.). Lastly, ODF proponent’s careers have been destroyed.

    Microsoft’s has a history of breaking license agreements with business partners to bring incompatible versions of competing offerings to the market, deceiving its business partners, violating the copyrights of its business partners, leveraging its desktop monopoly to wipe competitors from the market, planting, through multiple sources to increase the credibility, "evidence" of its position, lying through its teeth in the courtroom, manufacturing evidence in the courtroom, funding manufactured, "independent" "studies" to downplay competing products, spreading disinformation in the media, violating the copyrights of others in the name of having its intellectual property respected, violating others copyright to be able to embrace, extend, extinguish competing offerings, funneling money into meritless lawsuits that where played out loud in the media to cast fear, uncertainty and doubt on competitors, and in its latest salvo of anti competitive behavior has issued vague, unspecified legal threats against a competing offering. Microsoft is a convicted monopolist and is being sanctioned for anti-trust violations. Microsoft, in short, uses every dirty trick in, and not in, the book to deal with competition. It has thereby successfully made itself the single most universally distrusted and hated company in the world.

    The UK Product Manager for Microsoft Office is part of this company, the UK Product Manager for Microsoft Office willfully signed a job agreement with his employer. The UK Product Manager for Microsoft Office through reiterating Microsoft’s words of deceit to the press has made himself a part in a spin campaign in order to sustain Microsoft’s monopoly position.

    Darren, how on earth where you able to express the view to the media that the market needs two competing standards? The market needs only one: a truly open one. It is Microsoft that needs two, as a prelude to toss out the truly open one, and have the apparent open one for its own, thereby maintaining it monoply position.

  14. Matt Sharpe says:

    Sure, disagree with what Microsoft is doing, but don’t do it in an insulting, cowardly anonymous way, otherwise you are no better than whatever it is you are complaining about.

  15. Microsoft is often synonymous with the classic big American firm but as I’m proud to work for Microsoft

  16. Microsoft is often synonymous with the classic big American firm but as I'm proud to work for Microsoft

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