Heckmondwike, the consequences…

A gathering of tea cups or mugs, unwashed. Left in a place of work, the collective noun is as we all know by now a ‘heckmondwike’. But the consequences of such a thing when dishwashers are present is even more aggravating and confirms my dislike of these infernal machines.

I’ve already gone on about how unsociable they are, but with the possibility of a ‘heck’ ( one is allowed to shorten the noun when in common parlance ) there comes the likelihood of a ‘oswaldtwistle‘, or more commonly the shortened version a ‘twistle’. As anyone with any knowledge of English will know this is the word used for retrieving a dirty mug from a dishwasher when there are none left in the vast store cupboard that normally holds at least twenty to try and minimise the risk. It also means ‘ a very bad turn of mood’ like when a spotty oik assistant in a shop ignores you when looking at mobile phone and heads for the chap next to you who’s just walked in. The wheeling of a mobile shopping bag guarantees that this  spotty oik will deem you completely invisible. Hence the phrase on the return of a shopping trip with aforementioned mobile shopping bag: “I dropped into Carphone Warehouse to see if they would give me an upgrade on my iPhone 6 for something even more expensive and the oik ignored me completely and talked to some young bloke about how cool the iPhone 4 was. I got into a right twistle, and stomped out.


I’ve a liking ,which is obvious from the last couple of posts, to making up new meanings from place names. The inspiration is a book called the Meaning of Liff which was written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, the former the writer of Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the latter a humorist who does lots of stuff on Radio 4. The book was published years ago and to me is their finest work. Seek it out and enjoy. I’ve done my own version recently which is based on Gloucestershire place names only and is called “Glossary”. I’ll be posting extracts and drawings from it over the coming months. The drawing has been posted before but it bears repeating, if you’ve seen it before then calm down, no need to get into a twistle, there will be a brand new drawing in the next postinginvisible

6 thoughts on “Heckmondwike, the consequences…

  1. Natives of Yorkshire from where it is derived would pronounce it with no ‘h’ and it might sound more like eckmundwiike, there being a long drawn out end to it. Like waiting for a dishwasher to finish…

  2. I will share your definition of oswaltwistle with my friends who are residents……..I actually think that the sound of the word suits your definition!!! I hope that they know what a dishwasher is 🤔😆😆

    1. Please do! I used to live not that far away in Accrington for a short time, my father was the local police chief inspector and there used to be a factory making TCP ( mouthwash/antispeptic ). Any pc reporting for duty with a slight cold would be sent on the beat that was near the factory. They’d feel a lot better after it.

      1. Lol! Apparently the question to ask is if you live below the lamp or above it- referring to a street lamp on a hill somewhere. One bit is considered better than the other – I forget which but I don’t know where the lamp is anyway!

  3. There was also a factory making crisps called ‘Rishy Crisps’, I wonder what happened to them. My memory of Accrington is mainly of rain and the football team that went out of the football league when we were there, so that would probably date it. The pies there were fantastic but the team a little less so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s