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Author Topic: Nigel, Neville??  (Read 6751 times)
Colhad
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« on: June 11, 2008, 03:05:42 PM »

These words are people's names but they have also become a form of insult. Someone who is a moron (like Colhad) can often be called a Nigel or a Neville, I've even heard the term Melvin.

Could they be accepted as rare words meaning a type of insult. "Nigel" and "Neville".
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technomc
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2008, 10:42:22 PM »

...and don't forget nigella  [a very pretty plant, one of my faves...]
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biggerbirdbrain
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2008, 07:36:46 PM »

Colhad, I don't know who would call you a moron! You don't sound like one at all!  angel
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Alan W
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« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2008, 03:35:17 PM »

I won't keep you in suspense, Colhad - I'm not going to accept these suggestions. But they have led me to some interesting information. So, it looks like you're not a moron after all.

And since one of my best friends is called Neville, I should say at the outset that this website does not approve of stereotyping people according to their names. However, what we're interested in here is which words actually exist in the English language, regardless of whether we approve of people using them.

I can't find Nigel or Neville as a form of insult in any standard dictionary, but Cassell's Dictionary of Slang has the following entries:

Quote
Neville Nobody n. [1990s+] (Aus.) an insignificant individual.

Quote
nigel n. [1990s+] (Aus.) a friendless male. [proper name Nigel seen as quintessentially upper-class and vapid]

It's interesting that both are identified as Australian. I don't think I'd ever heard either of them, but obviously you have, Colhad.

The more promising possibility for a Chi word would be nigel, since it has no capital letter, and it's not part of a phrase.

I could find a few examples of the word being used in something like this way. In http://www.victoria.ac.nz/psyc/about/docs/psychobabble%2007/5-10-07.pdf, there is, "Donít be a nigel. Get to know staff and students in the School." This is not actually Australian. It's from a newsletter called Psychobabble, which appears to be published by the School of Psychology at a New Zealand University. (Obviously these members of a caring profession don't have the same scruples about stereotypes that I do.)

And there's a forum post saying, "...I was going to look like a real nigel going on my own." This was from a woman in northern Tasmania.

And a South African woman named Nikki Steele writes in the journal of a South American trip, "...I don't have to hang around in some hotel room like a real Nigel."

Based on this tiny sample, it seems the word is not restricted to males, as stated in the definition quoted above. And it seems to be now used beyond the shores of Australia, though it may have started here.

But anyhow, I'm not convinced that nigel is widely enough used, at this stage, to justify acceptance into our list. And the same applies - probably even more so - to neville. But thanks for raising the question, Colhad - I learnt something new.
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Alan Walker
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« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2008, 06:17:09 PM »


Once again, O GAGLE, you astound us with the depth of your research.  Presuming that you remember even a fraction of the stuff, you'd be a natural on a quiz show ! You're quite wasted here - off you go to win a fortune on Mastermind or The Einstein Factor.  laugh
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biggerbirdbrain
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 09:41:30 PM »

Certainly Jeopardy -- think of what you could do with all the money!  Wink
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