[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 October 2005, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Quiz: is your English up-to-the minute?
catwalk model wearing white socks and shoes
Would you admit to being a shoe-gazer? Try our instant quiz
Are you a Rate Tart who drives a Chelsea Tractor? Or maybe a Twixter who's into Shoegazing?

Most likely of all, you're just left dazed and confused by the sheer weight of new expressions which creep into the English language every year.

This morning on Breakfast, we'll be talking to the author of a new handbook which translates the latest trendy expressions into the kind of language the rest of us can understand.

  • Susie Dent, who's the resident word expert on Countdown, talked us through some of her favourites.

    She explained that this type of English changes very quickly and many of the words and phrases don't last - in fact the point of it for some is for it to be not understood by the rest of us!

  • So, how up to date is your English?

    Put your knowledge to the test, with Breakfast's instant quiz, devised with the help of Susie Dent's book, Fanboys and Overdogs.

    Question 1
    What is a Twixter?
    A: A playground con artist, adept at winning pocket money poker games
    B: A person between 20 and 30 years old, with no proper job, who still lives with their parents
    C: Someone who can't function at work without a chocolate snack at 4pm each afternoon
    Question 2
    Shoegazing is:
    A: The act of coveting a pair of Manolos, when you're already over your credit limit
    B: A style of rock music with a dreamy, blurred sound
    C: A state of paralysing social embarrassment
    Question 3
    Bluesnarfing is:
    A: The craze for swimming in a cage surrounded by sharks
    B: The practice of recording cover versions of old Jazz standards
    C: The use of Bluetooth wireless technology to steal other people's private computer data
    Question 4
    Your latest Bling is pronounced Braff. Translate into conventional English:
    A: Your jewellery is worthless
    B: Your jewellery is priceless
    C: Your girlfriend/boyfriend is very good looking
    Question 5
    Sudoku is:
    A: An almost inedible Japanese fish
    B: An almost insoluble Japanese number puzzle
    C: An almost undetectable Japanese earth tremor
    Question 6
    What's a Chelsea Tractor?
    A: The last word in combine harvester technology
    B: A four-wheel drive car more likely to be found on the school run in London than driving cross country
    C: A red double-decker bus
    Question 7
    Chuddies are:
    A: The sort of elderly ladies who use an umbrella as an offensive weapon
    B: Underwear - in Indian slang
    C: A threat to the fabric of society
    Question 8
    An American offers you a bunch of Dead Presidents. Do you:
    A: Suspect they're working undercover for the drugs squad
    B: Call the murder squad immediately
    C: Wonder where they got all that folding money from
    Question 9
    Tapping up is:
    A: A common ruse employed by cowboy plumbers, to overcharge for fixing a washer
    B: What publicans do when they change a beer barrel
    C: A undercover approach to line someone up for a new job - apparently illegal in Premiership football
    Question 10
    Podcasting is:
    A: Making the tough decision to throw out your garden centre mistakes
    B: The art of putting together the ultimate playlist for your i-Pod
    C: Digital radio programmes which can be downloaded onto your i-Pod

     Press the button and see how you have done

  • Fanboys and Overdogs: the language report by Susie Dent is published by Oxford University Press

  • BBC Breakfast



    Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific