Wednesday, February 17, 2010

British Word of the Day

Here Sylvester Stallone uses his articulated lorry to forge a delicate bond with his young son, drive through tacky American knock-off statuary (such as Larry the American might own), and win an arm wrestling competition...

lorry [ˈlɒrɪ]n pl -ries
1. (Engineering / Automotive Engineering) a large motor vehicle designed to carry heavy loads, esp one with a flat platform US and Canadian name truck See also articulated lorry.
off the back of a lorry Brit informal a phrase used humorously to imply that something has been dishonestly acquired it fell off the back of a lorry

As in, "Stop! That dog has just been run over by an articulated lorry!"

In America these are called flat-beds or big-rigs or trucks. My Mom's first husband drove one for a living. Lorry is much nicer.

Minjeer Nathan van Voorhees, before his code m
onkey days, was a lorry driver for the university laundry where we met. Therefore, in the land of Neels, he might be named Jolly and I, his loyal wife, might be named Mrs. Jolly. We would be suitable for service in the Good Doctor's home after Jolly was injured in a smash-up on the M1.

I actually saw two articulated lorries today wh
ile running errands. They were hauling bales of hay.


  1. My favorite lorry driver is a creation of the late great Douglas Adams.

    Rob McKenna.
    Described by the scientific community in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish as a "Quasi Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer," Rob McKenna is an ordinary lorry driver who can never get away from rain and he has a log-book showing that it has rained on him every day, anywhere that he has ever been to prove it. Arthur suggests that he could show the diary to someone, which Rob does, making the media deem him a 'Rain God' (something which he actually is) for the clouds want "to be near Him, to love Him, to cherish Him and to water Him". This windfall gives him a lucrative career, taking money from resorts and similar places in exchange for not going there.

    Appears in the novel So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

  2. Sylvester Stalone? Really? Madd skills.

  3. I believe that I have been a "lorry" driver, however briefly. I am not sure whether it was articulated or not. We called the trailers a "grain train". The back trailer was called, "the pup". TMI?

  4. Not to be confused with an HGV, acronym for a heavy goods vehicle, which is a particular class of lorry. An articulated lorry (our tractor-trailer system) is known informally as an "artic."

    And then there's all the language associated with driving, like "tailback" -- the cars lining up behind a merge or stuck on a highway (the "motorway") while an RTA is cleared -- and "carving up" which is speeding up to overtake a slower vehicle and then get into the lane in front of it.

    So it's a perfectly reasonable sentence in the UK to say, "I'm going to carve up that artic before we get to the slip." (Slip is an exit or entrance ramp.)

    I'm pretty close to fluent in this stuff. Anyone need a trolley from the car park?