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The Unique Language of Quantock School

Quantock School Colloquialisms A-K

Black Nun - The legendary figure that stalked the junior wing. The stuff of nightmares, the story - which no doubt changed over the years - of the "Black Nun" was something that seemed to have been passed through successive generations of Quantock pupils.

Booking - What one usually got when rubbing a teacher or a prefect up the wrong way. The punishment could vary, with sentences ranging from washing up and trolley duty through to 'spuds' and wood chopping. According to the 1981 prospectus, there was an official appeals procedure, but none of us - at least in my day - were made aware of this.

Bum Chum - A defamatory term used to describe people who shared (in your view) too close a friendship. It implied an unacceptable and completely unwholesome intimate association. This was one stage up from a "suck" (qv.) Thanks to Mike Blake for reminding me of this wonderful term.

Bum Fluck/Bell Fluck - hard to describe in so many words, but the "bum fluck" was the action of "slicing" the victim's behind with the back of ones hand. In my day this was also known as a "bacon slice". The "bell fluck" was a similar action, though employed against the victim's more sensitive regions. *Shudder*. (Credit to Ben Honeyands, who reminded us all of this gruesome torture on the QS Community site)

"Bungle" Punch - A two fisted blow direct toward the upper arm, which if delivered correctly was surprisingly painful. Named after the otherwise genial Peter "Bungle" Burgess, former house master of the Stable Block. Thanks to Mike Blake for reminding me of this little gem...

Caddywhack - The process of flicking your victim with a wet towel. When done correctly this was a very painful act (for the recipient) wherever it impacted. Caddywhacking experts soon frayed the corners of their towels as a result. Wetting the flying corner was popularly believed to increase the pain upon impact. This move was best applied with a Rats tail (qv.) (Thanks to Will Whiteway-Wilkinson for reviving this horrific memory).

Chapel - Morning Assembly. Originally morning assembly had included religious services (hence the use of the term 'Chapel'), but during my time at the school this was where one found oneself entertained for the best part of an hour by either the Head reading a couple of pages from a well-known book (Papillon, Les Miserables) or one of Gerry Warriner's amazing stories.

Crusty - A seriously nasty rap on the top of the skull with a closed fist which was best used as a shock tactic. A variant of the standard crusty was the "rapid fire" crusty, which was usually best facilitated by a headlock to keep the victim from escaping. Heaven only knows why it was called a crusty, but there we are...

Dogs - The term used by someone scrounging your last bite of a Mars Bar or can of coke etc... it was such a recognised scrounge that you felt compelled to give that person your last soggy bit of mars bar or your last bit of saliva laden coke. In some cases, victims of the "Dogs" scrounge often attempted to countermand this action by saying "cats". (Thanks to Darren Weeks for this one).

Dossing - The act of messing about - typically when you weren't supposed to. A situation where dossing took place was called a "Doss", as in "that lesson was a complete doss", while a "Dosser" was one who engaged in the act of dossing. In some cases the label stuck - some people were often seen as serial "Dossers".

Dot - Free Lesson. Thanks to Mike Blake (Blakey) for reminding me about this one. Applying good old Quantockian logic, a double free period was known as a "Double Dot". Of course, the prized 'double dot' period was the one no-one actually ever had - the one in lieu of the Saturday morning trek to the sports field at Aley...

DT - Detention. This ranged from staying behind (after the last class of the day) or remaining in the Prep room after everyone else had been dismissed to being sentenced to any of the popular punishments of the day. We never did 'a thousand lines' at Quantock - we instead wheeled trolleys around or chopped wood.

Fagger - Term used to describe an individual who used to smoke next to the bins near the incinerator located near the old archway.

Flid - Fool or Idiot. A perjorative term derived from Thalidomide, a drug given to pregnant women that was found to cause deformities in their offspring. The term was seen as a strong form of insult, as it directly questioned the mental and social abilities of the person on the receiving end. It was usually given emphasis with the use of defining expletive, e.g. 'you ----ing flid!' Ironically, the drug even gets a mention in the 1981 prospectus (p. 5)

Granger - The simplest and laziest form of necktie knot, named as such after the popular childrens television series Grange Hill. A Granger involved looping the tie once, and had a distinctive diagonally lopsided appearance. A variant of the Granger was the Reverse Granger, in which the knot was tied in reverse, leaving a skinny tail and a shirt fat stub near the collar. Those with Grangers were susceptible to the attack popularly known as the "Peanut" (qv.) Thanks to Blakey for this.

Jub - Literally, 'Junior underprivileged Brat', a term used to describe a member of the 0's and 00's (Zeros and Sub-Zeros, the terms given to the two junior years), although it could be directed at almost anyone over whom you had even limited power.

Knobby - a cunning blow to the upper thigh with the knee, more often than not from behind. (Thanks again to Blakey for jogging my memory here).

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