Monday, 3 January 2011


The book above is the reason several people in a very quiet secondhand bookshop glowered at me when I cracked up laughing upon seeing its title. It had been a fairly ridiculous day*, and consequently I was in a somewhat skewed good humour, but to be honest I'd probably have ended up giggling like a fool even if I'd been depressed because it's such a beautifully silly example of the old adage that Britain and the US are two countries divided by a common language. Now try reading the wikipedia entry (especially the plot summary) on this book without pissing yrself. I especially like the fact it took 30 years for someone to tell Jack Vance what it meant in Britain and elsewhere, upon which all Wankh references were changed to Wannek.

*For reasons I'm not going into here, except to say that if you believe in synchronicity, or don't believe in random coincidence, it was the sort of day that would have made yr head spin.


  1. I laughed so hard the boy thought something was wrong with me.

    The thing about a word like that is we don't use it in any, once you know what it means it sticks. Fanny, for instance, is always going to be an innocent euphemism for the matter how many times I hear otherwise.

    Wank...we don't use at Wank Spaceships and wanks being banned from Wankcity is tear inducing.

  2. You know there's a town in Oregon called "Wanker's Corner"?

  3. You know what that means? Somebody was named Wanker.

    "You know Randy Wanker...he lives out on County Line Rd. with his three sons."

    "Oh yeah. The Wanker boys...they're a real handful."

  4. Oh I know. Just makes you wonder why. Was it like "Smith" as a name?

    Also reminds me of that comedy show, remember 'Married With Children'? Peggy's maiden name was Wanker. Which always lead me to suspect that there was at least one British or Canadian scriptwriter on the team...

  5. Putting my History degrees to good use I did some research..I googled it.

    German name...sounds like Vanker...until you immigrate to America.

    They probably just knew they could get away with it on the show. By the time Married With Children had come out...people my age and certainly the writers age had been feed a steady dose of British shows...The Young Ones in particular.

  6. Just in case you have somehow never heard it:

  7. I have, but it's always a joy to hear Derek & Clive. Very few people can swear quite as well as Peter Cook could.

  8. I have to say I have enjoyed this thread more than any other all year.

    Now if only somebody could get hit in the head with something...

  9. What, you mean like this?