Salford Twinky Ban Revoked.

Claire Burke reports for the Guardian about what is apparently a phenomenon, British cities banning swearing:

When Salford ditched its ban on swearing last week, Mark Thomas’s reaction was apt. “Hoo fucking ray” the comedian tweeted, shortly followed by a “Whoo- fucking -hooo”. Introduced by the city council in 2016, the public spaces protection order (PSPO) outlawed “foul and abusive” language in Salford Quays, the former site of the Manchester Docks that has now been transformed by upscale developments. Offenders faced an on-the-spot fine, which could increase to £1,000. The order immediately alarmed critics and free speech campaigners. What, after all, constituted foul language? Would a “bloody hell” get you into trouble? Could you be fined for a “damn”?

Thomas was due to perform at the Lowry theatre when the order came down in 2016, and has been known to “drag audiences through the streets” on post-gig demos. “In the interests of remaining within the law, I sent Salford City Council a list of words I’m considering using, and asking which are permissible and which are not,” he wrote at the time. “The list runs to 425 words, in alphabetical order, starting with ‘arse’, ending with ‘winnit’ and including the term ‘cat twinky’. I have no idea what that last one means but thought we should check nonetheless.”

Green’s Dictionary of Slang tells us that winnet is “a piece of excrement adhering to the anal hairs”; the “cat twinky” may involve twinkie n. (also twinky):

1. (US gay) a young, inexperienced homosexual man.
2. a young (underage) sex object, whether male or female and seen as suitable for exploitation.
3. anyone considered odd or eccentric.
4. the penis.

In any case, I’m glad the ban is ended. (Thanks, Trevor!)

Comments

  1. Charles Perry says:

    In California, I’ve always heard winnets called dingleberries.

  2. Yes, that’s what I’m familiar with, and I suspect it’s standard US usage.

  3. Before I read this post I would have said cat twinky is a cat named Twinky.

    I could never imagine….

  4. John Cowan says:

    Yes, that’s what I’m familiar with, and I suspect it’s standard US usage.

    Except for those of us who like to refer to Klingons orbiting Uranus.

  5. You will find a lot of hits (including US hits) if you google ‘twink’. Wikipedia has an article on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twink_(gay_slang)

    Gives some etymological background that I’m in no position to judge.

  6. I’m familiar with that usage, but it doesn’t seem the most likely explanation for “cat twinky.”

  7. I learned from an Australian I once worked with that a piece of dried poop hanging from a sheep’s bum is called a dag. But the adjective daggy, if I remember it right, means a thing or person that is kind of shabby, low-rent, not up to snuff, but sort of comfortable like an old sweater. So a daggy restaurant might be a place for cheap eats and pitchers of beer — crude but fun.

  8. David Marjanović says:

    Yes, that’s what I’m familiar with, and I suspect it’s standard US usage.

    I’m just amazed you have a word for that, let alone two!

  9. And here I thought German had a word for everything!

  10. J.W. Brewer says:

    He came up with a list of 425 arguably-vulgar words/phrases and not a single one beginning with x, y, or z?

  11. Trond Engen says:

    And here I thought German had a word for everything!

    Others do.

  12. David Marjanović says:

    The German vocabulary is infinitely extensible by compounding (not to mention borrowing from Latin or French), but not that large to begin with, I would say. And neither is the conceptual space it expresses: full Sapir-Whorf – never once have I witnessed the concept of shit clinging to anal hair come up in a German conversation.

    Also, I’ve been to the US, and the toilet paper isn’t that different there – what gives? 🙂

  13. I’m just amazed you have a word for that, let alone two!

    Teacher: what were you doing on weekend?
    Student: I saw my parents fucking.
    T: There is no such word!
    S: There is the thing, but not a word?

  14. “Mouse twinkie” is apparently a thing. A mousepad having something to do with a Twinkie bun.

  15. Russian has plenty of words which would fit any situation and describe anything imaginable so no special term is needed.

    Polozh’ koldobinu so storony zagoguliny i dva raza dergani za pimpochki. Oposlya chego dolbani plyukhalkoy po kuvykalke i, kady chvoknet, – otskoch’ dal’sheye, prikin’sya vetosh’yu i ne otsvechivay. Potomu kak ona v ento vremya shmyak tudyt’, syudyt’, yoksel’-moksel’, yorsh tvoyu med’…

  16. Any word for an object with a roughly uniform cross section and an aspect ration of at least 1.8 : 1 can be a slang term for “penis.”

  17. AJP Crown says:

    never once have I witnessed the concept of shit clinging to anal hair come up in a German conversation. Also, I’ve been to the US, and the toilet paper isn’t that different

    I’ve been aware of the word since the mid-1970s without dingleberries ever popping up in conversation (maybe once or twice). The same is true of dickhead & bellend etc., they’re floating around as metaphors for something – more likely someone: “You dingleberry” – unpleasant without having any practical meaning (unlike willy or cock that are informal alternatives to penis).

  18. AJP Crown says:

    Introduced by the city council in 2016, the public spaces protection order (PSPO)

    Known presumably as ‘Pisspoo’. That must have been deliberate, but why when it could have been POPS? And as well as dreary Stoke and Dartford (home of adolescent Jagger & Richards) this Pisspoo happens in Morecambe and Canterbury – places that probably pay people not very much to promote them. So QED you get what you pay for, prissy tourists.

  19. I’m just amazed that Mark Thomas is still around and performing. It’s like stumbling across a VHS rental store.

  20. Father Jape says:

    In Serbian the term is “tarzančići” (= little Tarzans).

  21. shabby, low-rent, not up to snuff, but sort of comfortable like an old sweater.

    Daggy clothes are alright around the house but not really for going out.

  22. AJP Crown says:

    shabby, low-rent, not up to snuff, comfortable like an old sweater

    I used to work with a Daggy (Dagmar).

  23. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    Does anyone visit Salford for pleasure? If they do it must have changed since I were a lad.

  24. AJP Crown says:

    The BBC moved half its employees to Salford. Because not London. I know this from having watched the episode of W1A where three people from Broadcasting House are forced to go up on the train and spend a night there.

    It turns out that BBC bureaucrats do actually talk like characters in W1A:

    Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer of the BBC, will be the Executive Director with responsibility for delivering the implementation of the BBC’s move to Salford.

    She said: “I’m delighted that we have now finalised the terms for the BBC’s presence at the mediacity:uk development. This is a really exciting project for us all and I look forward to working with colleagues in Peel Holdings and the development consortium to turn the vision into a reality.”

    Responsibility for delivering the implementation? Means she’s in charge of moving.

  25. This is strange, because I thought BBC always had office in Manchester, on Oxford road.

    It’s about fifteen minutes by car from there to Salford.

  26. Of course there is a German word for dingleberries: Klabusterbeeren.

  27. Nice examples: „Du kannst dir meine Klabusterbeeren vom Arsch pflücken und behalten!“

  28. David Marjanović says:

    That looks made-up. …And Wiktionary cites Grimm as saying “it looks like it was made up long ago”. 🙂

  29. David Eddyshaw says:

    Russian has plenty of words which would fit any situation and describe anything imaginable so no special term is needed.

    A solution of frightening elegance.

  30. The example above in Russian shows how it works. My rough translation (which loses most of its expressiveness, admittedly):

    Put the bump on the side of the squiggle and pull the tiny knob twice. After that, hammer with a plopper on the tumbler thingy and when it makes a whacking sound, – jump away, lie on the ground as still as a rag and don’t fucking move. Because it will start going bang-boom, here and there, holy shit, fucking fuck…

    Russians can invent these kinds of terms on the spot and in frightening quantities

  31. Stu Clayton says:

    As you just demonstrated, Englishians can do exactly the same thing.

  32. AJP Crown says:

    strange, because I thought BBC always had office in Manchester, on Oxford road.

    Consolidation. Moving forward.

  33. Re Klabusterbeeren: First time I encountered that term, or any of the synonyms listed under the link – it’s not a topic that comes up in the conversations I have. But the example sentences are fine specimen of excrement-themed (= probably 50% of) German popular humour.

  34. Roberto Batisti says:

    In Serbian the term is “tarzančići” (= little Tarzans).

    Ah! In Italian it’s the same ( tarzanelli ).

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