The failed search for Saint Theresa | Brief letters

New word | Female saints | Brexit bus | Obsolete submarines | Geordie slang | Blackbirds

Can I nominate the word “erg” as Uxbridge English Dictionary’s new definition of the year, viz: a group of shifty politicians moving aimlessly like a sand dune in the Sahara (Hardline Eurosceptics let out ‘collective gasp’ at May’s overtures to the opposition, 3 April).
Paul English
Belper, Derbyshire

• I was passing the House of Commons the other evening, just after the indicative votes by MPs, and along came a big red bus, on the front of which was emblazoned “Not in service”. Metaphor for our times or just another big red bus with a misleading message?
Prof K Cuthbertson

• Surely the compiler of your wordsearch (Letters, 3 April) could have found one female saint. Saint Theresa, for example.
Rev Andrew Slater
Attleborough, Norfolk

• Surely there’s a misprint in Geoff Reid’s letter (Speaking slang and ‘educated’ Geordie, 2 April). Should it not read “hadaway wi’ yer marra” not “barra”. On arriving in Newcastle upon Tyne as a student in 1971 the first phrases taught to me by my landlady were “hadaway and shite, man” and “shy bairns get nowt”. Both have held me in good stead for nearly 48 years.
Gareth Davies
Morpeth, Northumberland

• At the planned Westminster Abbey service on 3 May to mark 50 years of Britain’s submarine-based nuclear weapons, I presume the collection plate will go towards the £7.5bn decommissioning costs of the 20 stored and 10 in-service nuclear-powered subs (Report, 3 April).
Dr Ian Davis
Gairloch, Ross-shire

• I have just seen the first blackbird fledgling of the year fluttering in our garden. Is this a record?
Michael Roper
Chelmsford, Essex

• Join the debate – email

• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit

• Do you have a photo you’d like to share with Guardian readers? Click here to upload it and we’ll publish the best submissions in the letters spread of our print edition

Brief letters

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Speaking slang and ‘educated Geordie’ | Brief letters
Brief letters: Regional dialects | Boycotting posh hotels | April Fools’ Day | Comedians in politics


01, Apr, 2019 @4:06 PM

Article image
As the bookseller said to the archbishop | Brief letters
Brief letters: Extinction Rebellion | Bookstore surprises | Rabbits | Comedians in power | Brexit


22, Apr, 2019 @4:27 PM

Article image
Bog off, it’s not called a bathroom | Brief letters
Brief letters: Pre-Brexit swallow arrivals | Putin’s missiles | World leaders’ grip on reality | Brexit songs | Unwelcome Americanisms | 75-minute lunch breaks


24, Feb, 2019 @6:00 PM

Article image
Testing conversation for the uninitiated | Brief letters
Brief letters: Cricket | Europe | School holidays | PD James | Extending life


23, Aug, 2019 @3:37 PM

Article image
Tempted to pray for a less pitiful pension | Brief letters
Brief letters: Veterans’ pensions | Lord’s Prayer | Sherry refills | Shared birthdays | Mickey Mouse


09, Jun, 2019 @4:50 PM

Article image
Morris cars are lefty, not Brexity icons | Brief letters
Brief letters: Iconic cars | Decline of wildlife | Roma culture | Cross v crucifix


06, Jun, 2018 @5:25 PM

Article image
Hadaway wi’ ya dialect confusion | Brief letters
Brief letters: Life before Google Maps | Stanley Kubrick’s best films | Regional dialect | Crossword | WB Yeats


08, Apr, 2019 @5:00 PM

Article image
Veggie discs and an unpalatable truth | Brief letters
Brief letters: Careers advice for toddlers | EU crackdown on food labels | Gypsy tart origins | Geordie slang | First signs of spring


05, Apr, 2019 @3:42 PM

Article image
Poisonous political discourse, the ERG and fighting fascism | Letters
Letters: Jeff Wallace argues that language is not just a set of tools, words express what people think and feel; Keith Flett ponders David Lammy’s comments; sexagenarian John Ridout says he is prepared to take on the fascists; while Les Bright notices that ‘careless talk costs lives’ has new relevance


15, Apr, 2019 @4:31 PM

Article image
Breakup songs and voicing F-words | Brief letters
Brief letters: Language discoveries | Islamophobia | Europe’s beaches | Emotional music


15, Mar, 2019 @4:10 PM