Some characteristically  Bedalian 60 & 70's idiolect (as distinct   from general public school  slang,  e.g. 'pleb', 'footie',  'ag ag',  'shag', 'roundhead', 'wedgie', 'prike', 'shagspot',  'dorm',   and from common 60's & 70's  U.K. slang e.g. 'fab', 'groovy',  'bonk', 'nookie', 'snog', 'heavy petting', 'laid',  'smooch', 'stoned', 'dope', 'ganja', 'fag',  'ciggy', 'naff').   Bed   indicates  a Bedalian 'official' term - most of which were still current in 1998. 

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  • Bear pain : v. Suffer metaphorical or actual physical humiliation. "I was forced to bear pain"
  • Behind the bushes : n.p. Euph. Somewhere to go with a member of the opposite sex. The same sex would require greater discretion.
  • Blatant : n. Audacious, as in "their project pots in the biology lab were all growing hash plants. they were so blatant"
  • Bluff : v., n.  To do anything with a self-deprecating sense of feebleness. To pretend to pretend. In other cases to have to pretend.
  • Boring: adj. Boring.
  • Clique :  n. Any group of pupils who considered themselves select. Itself an unselect notion.
  • Cosh : v. To molest, usually physically. To catch someone 'Bat coshed me just as I thought we had made it'.
  • Devious : adj. Ingeniously subversive. Successfully naughty. Cool. Cunning..
  • Dorm binge: n. A feast. Bed.
  • Dorm boss : n. Senior pupil responsible for a dormitory. Bed.
  • Doss : v, n. To do nothing, e.g. on a sofa.. Be indolent. To socialise.
  • Dosser : n One who dosses. School of Dosso Dossi.
  • Essay crisis : n Normal state of being late for an essay deadline. "Sorry I can't, I have an Essay crisis"
  • Exposed : adj. Caught, Caught out. All syllables may be stressed.
  • Extra work : Detention, normally spent doing outdoor work. Bed
  • Fade : v, n. To lose face, be exposed (q.v.), retreat, do badly,  e.g. of an exam.  "I really faded."
  • Female : n. A girl. Bed.
  • Fire-escape : n. Main entrances onto male and female flats after dark.
  • Flat, on-flat, off-flat : n. Boarding house, to be there or not there. Bed  Note: on p48 of Badley's 'Memoirs and reflections' describing his time at Rugby, there is the phrase 'the dormitory flat' - is this a Rugby term transported?.
  • Flat counsellor :  nPrefect in charge of rousing or settling down pupils on flat. Bed.
  • Leads : n. Lead covered rooftop spots favoured for lurking and smoking. Bed.
  • Lurk : v, n. Hang out, possible with nefarious intent, usually outside and after dark.
  • Keenite : n. One who shows excessive enthusiasm for anything, esp. for games. Anti-keenite one who fervently opposes keenitism, or any show of enthusiasm for an anarchist.
  • Jaw : n. Quasi-religious happening, held on Sunday evenings and sometimes other times, usually fielding woolly and ecumenical  ramblings with generous doses of reverently declaimed passages from English Literature . Often sufficiently boring to merit drawing graffiti in one's hymn book (See illustration on this page). Bed
  • Male : n. A boy who doesn't like being one. Bed.
  • Merry evening n.  A series of sketches put by pupils and/or staff usually on a Saturday. Bed.
  • Mould :  v, n. Amble, infiltrate, slink along surreptitiously, an expedition, possible covert. As in "they've gone for a mould".
  • Munumumuh! : int. Exclamation indicating surprise or stupidity.  Supposedly a close imitation of a housemaster.
  • Peef, Peefee  :  n. Petersfield a town with a railway station, a Chinese restaurant and many pubs.
  • Outdoor work : n. Work by the pupils maintaining the grounds and sometimes the buildings. Made attractive by the opportunities to ride and even drive a tractor and to generally skive off. Bed
  • Pompey : n. Portsmouth
  • Pose : v. Attempt to appear select - an adolescent preoccupation.  "He's such a blatant poser."
  • Printer.  Self perpetuating clique,  ostensibly with the role, membership  mainly prized for possession of their own clubhouse, a site of binges and assignations.
  • Room Doers : n. Squad charged with duties to set up and dismantle equipment for events in return for privileges to muck around with tractors and  otherwise lurk around  Bed
  • Scrabble : v.n. To do something in a hurry or in adverse conditions: "the essay was a total scrabble so I had to bluff"
  • Select : adj. Cool, 'in', or often the opposite, e.g. the ironic "So select."
  • Siesta : Period after lunch meant to be spent on flat or restful activities.  Bed
  • Skive, skiver : v, n To avoid an activity, especially a compulsory one, to lurk. "Did you go to jaw. No, we skived"
  • Studs.  n. A must.
  • Study unit : Study containing desks for several senior students so as to be able to distract each other from studying.  Bed.  Why didn't we have proper studies? An architectural theory.
  • Tedious :  adj.  Anything remotely tedious. uncool. "Tedious is so tedious".
  • Time on flat.  Curfew,  i.e. time by which minions must return to flat .  Bed.
  • Unselect : adj. Humorous accusation of not being select, a continuous Bedalian concern.
  • Veg : v n. To doss, chill out , socialize. Usually prostrate on a sofa unless in the bike sheds
  • Walk-over : v The act of escorting a female over to Steephurst, signifying a recognised relationship of some sort and of at least the journey's duration. Bed

  Picture Bedales Hymn Book illustration Will Hill c 1970

Catch phrases:  Who reputedly said

Associative memory test - when you rerun this in your mind, do you hear the following accented in the original voice?

  • "little boy, be quiet!"
  • "sure, sure", "on this one"
  • "well blimey, it's not as if I'm a heavy man"
  • "from looking fishy to looking froggy"
  • "good job, that"
  • "the current in a conductor is proportional to the PD between its ends"
  • "leeaaar"


(C) Copyright 1999, 2003 Nicholas Knowles