I use this in my title to alert a reader of this column to the fact that I read his column as well. He’s recently mentioned the word and lamented that it is not used any more. I have been thinking about that and agree with him. But there’s nothing to stop us – he and I – from inventing new phrases that can be just as effective.
Do we wish to suggest that someone is shallow, annoying, and attention-seeking? Would we like to include overtones of callow and valueless behaviour? Would we like to call someone a whippersnapper?
Well, we’ll try one of these:
a. ” A Beardless Youth “. Sounds classical and classy. Particularly effective if the target person happens to be female.
b. ” An Ungracious Lout “. If we, in our turn, look like unmade beds, it gives added piquancy to this.
c. ” An Exquisite “. No-one really knows what this means but it sounds brittle and slimy at the same time – a considerable feat.
d. ” A Social Climber “. This suggests that the person is a snob but that is only one of the options. People can climb down as well as up…
e. ” A Brazen Vessel “. A bit more biblical, but still suggesting more valueless noise and shallow capacity.
The good thing about using these phrases is that while they are not obscene, they are memorable. We must use them sparingly, and pronounce them in a slow, clear manner. They will stick better than wax* to a blanket.
* Wax is not the word I wanted to use but this is a family column.