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.
- 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
- Blatant : n. Audacious, as in "their
project pots in the biology lab were all growing hash plants. they were so
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Flat counsellor : n. Prefect
in charge of rousing or settling down pupils on flat. Bed.
- Leads : n. Lead covered rooftop spots favoured for lurking and smoking.
- 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.
- 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
- 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"
(C) Copyright 1999, 2003 Nicholas Knowles