The Rediffusion dictionary of TV English


A humorous look at potential Rediffusion slang from 1967

Brian Morris

1. a bennett: a top 10 programme list, 2. a bowles: a quick round of drinks, 3. a bultitude: a multitude of wires, 4. a butler’s tray: a features schedule, 5. to cadle: to subject to severe scrutiny, 6. to coke: to go away (generally abroad), 7. a cole: fifth floor inhabitant of long standing, 8. a davey: special accounts, 9. to decoke: to come back to Television House, 10. to elkan allan: to ride a bicycle, 11. to elman: to vet, 12. to everett: disappear on an OB, 13. to gee-emm: to run to the fourth floor, 14. to groocock: to prepare minutes, 15. to hoskins: to release, 16. kemp-welch: lavish, 17. a lee: a dazzling array of lights, 18. a maynard: an unlockable lock, 19. moirish: comparative of donnish, 20. to morley: to mingle with the famous, 21. paine: climbing sales, 22. willes: full of virtue or sin, 23. a wills: a large group of companies, 24. a yates: special cigarette holder.

From ‘Fusion’, the house magazine of Rediffusion, number 46 of Easter 1967

Should these words come into wide use you might hear conversations among staff something like this… The experienced, willesed secretary was typing out a davey sheet. ‘Can’t hurry, my boss will cadle and elman them tomorrow before he gee-emms,’ she told her cole boy-friend on the phone. ‘That’s all right. I’ve still got to groocock a meeting. What about going out for a kemp-welch meal first then we’ll decoke.’

‘Hoskins the lee switches and break the door’s maynard. We must get the butler’s tray into the bennett or there will be no paine for the wills.’ He clutched his yates between his teeth and surveyed the bultitude. ‘Come and have a bowles before I tackle that lot,’ he said to his moirish companion. ‘Sorry, old man. I must everett,’ his friend declined. ‘I’ve got to morley on my elkan allan. Tomorrow I coke.’

About the author

'Fusion' was the quarterly staff magazine for Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion Television employees.

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