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Hello and welcome to word of the week!

In these posts I’ll be picking a random word not at all at random and giving you a brief summary of its origins as well as explaining why I’ve chosen it.

This week’s word is: Pillock

slang (Brit) a stupid or annoying person.

16th century, dialectal variant of Middle English, from the Scandinavian ‘pillicock’ meaning ‘penis’.

You may not have heard this word for a while (if ever depending on where you’re from!) which is precisely the reason I have chosen it! I’m attempting to bring about a small revival of ‘Pillock’ as a mild term of offence, primarily for my personal use on Twitter.

I was reminded of it whilst watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when everybody’s favourite Watcher, Giles aptly uses it to describe a Werewolf hunter they run in to. Just as I thought ‘there’s a word you hardly ever hear any more!’ we happened to watch an episode of Gavin and Stacey at the weekend in which Mick uses it as well. At that point I decided I wanted to make it my word of the week!

I find Pillock tends to work best without much padding. I’d therefore suggest you either use it completely in its own (after a suitable pause of course) or with the prefix ‘bloody’.