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Being twirly [Mar. 14th, 2014|12:07 pm]

Our friend J. has recently retired, and is making good use of her bus pass, which gives free travel outside peak hours. She has learned a new word for pass-holders: we are 'twirlies'. She derives this from the groups of women she sees standing at the bus stop at 9.20 a.m., letting the buses pass by. "That one's no good," they say, "it's twirly."

Pensioners: frugal and honest.

I first met this sense of the word when my mother qualified for her bus pass. It was, she explained, what the bus conductors (yes, this was long enough ago that there were bus conductors) called the little old ladies who boarded the early bus and when challenged asked, all innocence: "Oh, am I twirly?"

Pensioners: trying it on and trading on your reluctance to challenge them.

My Chambers doesn't admit to this sense of the word at all, and WordSpy doesn't seem to know it either, but Urban Dictionary shares my cynical view.

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-03-14 03:35 pm (UTC)
It's just that unexpectedness of this usage that makes it so pleasing, I think. And the fact that you think 'WHAT?' and then you read it aloud and it all makes sense...
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[User Picture]From: desperance
2014-03-15 12:36 am (UTC)
My Chambers doesn't admit to this sense of the word at all

What, still not? I've known it for a generation - oh, but wait a minute. How old is your Chambers? The ones I left behind would mostly predate twirlies, or the acceptance thereof...
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-03-16 04:55 pm (UTC)
Ah, well admittedly mine is the 1998 edition. Wait...

No, still not, apparently.
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