The Bawdy Bard: Shakespeare in its Original Pronunciation


Bawdy Innuendo

Never really got that whole Shakespeare ‘bawdy innuendo’ thing?  Your English teachers might have banged on about it a bit.  But chances are, they didn’t get it either.  Or at least, not all of it.  Turns out we’ve been pronouncing Shakespearean English all wrong.

There’s lots of evidence that suggest Shakespearean accents were totally different from today’s.  Never mind your RADA-trained elocuted pronunciation.  Shakespeare is supposed to be spoken with a cross between West Country, Yorkshire and Irish accents. Oo arh by gum.


As You Like It

So what does that mean for the bawdy bard?  Well for a start ‘hour’ was pronounced the same as ‘whore’.  Which opens up a whole line of rude puns.

‘Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more ’twill be eleven;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale.’

As You Like It Act 2 Scene 7

How do we know what the original pronunciation was?  The clue is in Shakespeare’s rhyming.  It just doesn’t make sense unless you pronounce it right.

Over to the Experts

Here’s a couple of linguists explaining it all in a more learned fashion than we can muster.  Skip to 8.00 mins if you want to get straight to the smutty bit.

Boobies in the House: Breastfeeeding Good For Democracy


Breastfeeding in Parliament

Last week the Parliament of Iceland had a first.  They were addressed by an MP from the podium who was breastfeeding her baby at the same time!  Unnur Bra Konradsdottir, MP declined the offer of a colleague to hold the baby, and just took her up to the podium with her.  Iceland is very relaxed about public breastfeeding, but this was a new one.  Everyone seemed to take it in their stride.

The UK House of Commons

Can you imagine if that was the UK Parliament though?  Here in the UK, we have all sorts of laws protecting the right to breastfeed in public.  But they don’t stretch to the House of Commons.  Infact, breastfeeding is expressly forbidden in the House of Commons.  Back in July an extensive report was published on the matter.  It recommended that breastfeeding should definitely be allowed.  The late Jo Cox MP spoke on the matter, suggesting it would be good for the baby, and good for democracy.  It would allow women MPs with babies to fully participate in the business of the House of Commons.


Sammy Wilson, DUP MP for East Antrim disagreed.  He felt that breastfeeding in the House of Commons would be exhibitionist.  “If you have somewhere else to go (to feed) whiy do you have to come into the House of Commons…?” he said.  His party later contradicted him, saying they thought breastfeeding was good for babies and that MPs who had infants should be able to feed them.

Whatever the consensus is though, the John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House has not endorsed the recommendations.  Breastfeeding is still not allowed.  It’s not the first time a recommendation has been ignored by the UK House of Commons.  A similar report in 2002 was ignored and the ban on breastfeeding upheld by the then Speaker Michael Martin.

The Most Natural Thing in the World

But back in Iceland, it’s all just a matter of nature.  Konradsdottir said it would anyway have been more disruptive not to carry on feeding her daughter.   The 6 week old infant has been attending committee meetings and parliament almost since she was born.  Konradsdottir said that breast feeding is “the most natural thing in the world”.  And we agree with her.  We’d love to see the UK House of Commons endorse that report.  Good for the baby, good for democracy! 

Chocolate Week: Ten Things You Might Not Know About Chocolate


Chocolate Week

It’s been chocolate week and we’ve been perusing all things choc.  Most people love chocolate and we all know how it helps our happy-hormones.  We know we shouldn’t over indulge.  For the sake of our waistbands and cholesterol levels.  And yet, we’re always being told how it’s Good For You.  What is a person to do?


The magical substance of cocoa has the world in it’s power.  And it has done for a very very long time.  But just how much do you know about it?  Expecially for Chocolate Week, we present our top ten chocolate facts.


  • Chocolate is made from a cocoa fruit which is about the size of a small melon and grows on trees.


  • Each fruit contains about 40 seeds – enough to make 8 bars of milk or 4 bars of dark chocolate.
  • Cocoa trees grow in tropical parts of the world. It is mostly produced in West Africa and South America.  Cote d’Ivoire grows 35% of the world’s supply of cocoa.
  • The Mayans of central America were the first people to grow cocoa trees and drink chocolate. 250 – 900 AD.
  • The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocoatl.  The Aztecs were unable to grow cocoa trees though, because their climate wasn’t right.  They had to trade it from the Mayans.
  • The Latin – or scientific – name for the cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao, meaning food of the gods.  Which is about right.
  • 90% of cocoa trees are grown on small family farms. About 6 million farmers earn their living from grown and selling cocoa beans.
  • Cocoa is a difficult crop. Trees need to be constantly tended and protected.  Cocoa farmers earn very little from this very lucrative industry.
  • Chocolate
  • Fair trade chocolate is made from cocoa grown on family farms, the same as all cocoa. But the farmers are paid a premium amount rather than the minimum.  That means they can invest in the farms and have security for their families and communities.
  • Milky Ways are named after a flavour of milkshake, which has (milk)shaken my entire chocolate belief system as I always thought it was astronomical, just like a Mars Bar.  Which makes question how Mars Bars got their name.  See, world shaken.

Chocolate Brownies

Oh and earlier in the week we promised you a choc recipe.  We had to do some serious testing.  It has been really hard work.  We have come to the conclusion that this is the best brownie recipe ever.  Didn’t seem fair to claim it as our own, so click on the image for the BBC Good Food recipe.  The instructions look a bit long winded, but it’s honestly as easy as anything.  They get better if you store them for a few days.  Which is the hardest bit of the recipe.


BBC Good Food Best-ever Brownies





It’s Curry Week and Chocolate Week, what a week!

Curry Week

Curry Week

Oh My God it’s Curry Week AND it’s Chocolate Week!  All in the same week!  Now that’s a good week.  To celebrate, we’re sharing our curry and chocolate recipes.  The curry one is cheap as chips.  Or more accurately, cheap as chapatis.  Which should leave you enough cash to not only eat out at your favourite Indian restaurant, but also to make our chocolate recipe.


Chapattis are the staple diet for millions in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.  If you’ve never made them before, or even if you have, have a go this week and send us pics of the results.

OK, before we get started.  1) Chapattis need chapatti flour.  If you can’t get special chapatti flour, use wholemeal flour, but sift out the bran.  This is important.  With the bran, they won’t roll properly, they will be hard and crispy and just wrong.  Get sifting. 2) Chapatti dough needs to rest for a few hours, so plan ahead. 3) Chapattis are absolutely necessary for Curry Week, so don’t delay, get started today!


Makes enough for 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry people

  • 2 cups of chapatti flour
  • Cold water
  • You will also need a tawa (chapatti pan) or a heavy bottomed frying pan


  • Mix the flour with enough water to make a soft but not wet dough
  • Knead by hand for 10 minutes, or in a mixer/food processor for 3 minutes.
  • Place in a greased plastic bag, or lidded container and put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • To cook, pull off a golfball sized piece of dough, and shape into a ball.  Flatten on your work surface.  Roll out into a round, nice and thin, but no bigger than your pan.
  • Heat your pan (no oil or grease at all please) and when it’s hot, slap on your chapatti.
  • Start preparing the next chapatti, while keeping an eye on the one in the pan.  When it starts to bubble up, flip it over to cook the other side.  It should take a minute or less, so be watchful.
  • When it’s done on both sides (don’t let it brown) wrap in a clean tea towel and keep warm.
  • Cook the next one.  Keep on going till you’ve used up all the dough.  Serve while hot.


Tasty and nutritious, dhal is easy to make once you know how.  And once you’ve got the right things in your storecupboard, it’s really cheap too.  Of course, you can splash out and add other stuff, but this is the basic recipe.  We’ve used split red lentils because they’re easy to get hold of and cook in no time.  You should be able to get all the spices in the supermarket, but they are much much cheaper in Asian supermarkets.  If you can’t get Asafetida, don’t worry, just leave it out.  Right then, Curry Week, here we come!

Feeds 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry people.  With maybe some left over.  Which you can freeze.


For the dhal

  • 100g lentils
  • ½ tin tomatoes, preferably blended, but not necessary.
  • 2cm of root ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 30g soft brown sugar (or whatever you’ve got)
  • Small handful of fresh coriander

For the tarka (spiced oil)

  • 25 ml veg oil
  • 1 dried chilli snapped in half
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch asafoetida


  • Put the lentils in a pan and cover with boiling water.  Bring to the boil and then simmer til they are soft.  Keep an eye on them.  If it’s looking dry, add more water, but don’t drown it.
  • When the lentils are soft, add the tomatoes, and simmer til everything’s becoming a bit mushy
  • Add the salt, ginger, turmeric, sugar, chili powder and coriander and mix well.
  • For the tarka: In a small pan, heat the oil and add the chilli, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafoetida.  Carefully head till the seeds start to pop.
  • Pour the oil over the hot dhal.  Stand back as it’s likely to splutter.
  • Stir well and serve with the chapattis.

There you go, food for next to nothing.  Though of course, if you want to add in more glamorous dishes to the meal, go for it.  Chicken Madras? Mushroom Korma?  Whatever takes your fancy – it’s Curry Week, after all!   We’ll give you our chocolate recipe later in the week, just to make your week perfect!



Cheeky and Rude Christmas Cards from DYP

There, we’ve said it, the C word!  We’ve got a stack of new juicy rude Christmas cards for you.

Christmas is 11 weeks and 5 days away.  Yup.  And if that doesn’t seem very close, get this. The last date for sending cards economy (surface) mail from the UK to USA, Canada and Hong Kong is 9 days away!  And if you wanted to send a card economy class to the far East, well tough, that was a week ago.  See what we mean?  It’s definitely time to order your Christmas cards!

And anyway, we’ve been working on our selection of rude Christmas cards for months now. We can’t wait any longer to show you them.  So, without further ado, (drum roll), here’s the DYP 2016 Christmas specials!  Well, some of them anyway.  There’s really a very large selection in the shop.

Rude Christmas Cards

Drink and Food and Drink

Rude Christmas Cards

Rude and Cheeky

And finally, our piece de la resistance, the gold standard.  We really are rather chuffed with these gold cards.  They’re in our Luxe range and are all hand foiled.  Absolutely gorgeous.  And they are limited edition, so get ordering super quick before they run out.

Rude Christmas Cards

The Gold Standard!

World Vegetarian Day: Some Idiot Questions for our Resident Veggie

World Vegetarian Day

It’s world Vegetarian Day today.  The DYP Massive is mainly hardcore carnivore.  But our social media manager has been a veggie for decades.  Yes decades.  Not a morsel of meat has passed her lips.  She agreed to let us ask intrusive and idiotic questions.  The kind she’s been asked repeatedly for decades.

Q] Do you eat chicken?

A] Erm no, chicken is an animal.

Q] Do you eat fish?

A] Erm no, fish is animal.

Q] So do you just eat kidney beans then?

A] I hate kidney beans.

Q] What the hell DO you eat then?

A] Just broccoli and cauliflower

Q] Really?

A] NO.  I eat a wide range of vegetables and things made from vegetables.    And I eat cheese.

Q] Wait a minute, we’ve heard cheese has animal in it?

A] Yes, animal rennet.  Strict vegetarians wouldn’t eat cheese made with animal rennet.  But you can get cheese made with vegetable rennet. 

Q] So how long have you been on this rabbit-food then?  Not long I guess, because you look quite sturdy.

A] It’s not rabbit food.  It’s human food.  Millions of people are vegetarian…. oh, 30 years.  

Q] 30 years! Wow!

A] Go on, ask me if that’s All My Life.  Go on.  Because I only look 30 don’t I?  It’s because of the vegetarian diet you know.  Go on…. Oh OK then.  I started being a vegetarian in my early 20s.

Q] Yeah, we know you’re old.  So why did you start?

A] Old and wise. Well, when I started it was during the Ethiopian famine.  You know the one that Bob Geldof made Feed the World  about so we could all think Africans are stupid and don’t know when Christmas is?  That one.  I realised that the way the world economy worked was seriously screwed up.  Ethiopia was growing grain to sell to Europe to feed beef cattle, so we could eat burgers.  Meanwhile tens of thousands of people were dying of starvation.  I didn’t want to be part of that.  Kind of simplistic, but I was young. Then after a few years I started to get interested in animal welfare and animal rights.  I even flirted with veganism for a while.  And only drank veggie wine.  But these days, I’m a veggie mostly because I don’t think of meat as food any more.  You may as well pass me a plate of soil. It’s just not very appealing.

Q] Wait…veggie wine?

A] Really? I’m discussing international political economy and all you got was … wine? 

Q] This is DYP, not The Economist.

A] Sorry. 

Q] Come on then, veggie wine….?

A] Isinglass is used to clear sediment from wine and beer and improve it’s appearance and taste.  It’s made from the swim bladders of fish.

Q] Yum.  Did you know it’s World Vegetarian Day today?

A] No I didn’t.  I don’t really take much notice of stuff like that.  I mean, I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not evangelical about it.  I just don’t eat meat.  


Q] What’s your favourite food?

A] Chips

Q] Is that what you are having today, on World Vegetarian Day?

A] Maybe.  I might have pizza and chips, or a paneer curry with chapattis, or mushroom burgers with chips, or pasta with artichokes and goats cheese.  Or a chili.  And chips.

Q] Do you fart a lot?

A] Why do you think I work from home? 

World Vegetarian Day

That’s not my house. My house is dingy and I scoff a slice of toast at my desk for breakfast like any self respecting social media manager, dropping crumbs on the keyboard.






European Day of Languages seems like a good excuse for foreign swearing!

Today is European Day of Languages.  It was founded to celebrate linguistic diversity in Europe.  Did you know that there are over 200 European languages?  And that’s before you add in all the languages spoken by people who’s families originate from outside Europe.

The EDL was set up jointly by the European Union and the Council of Europe.  It’s aim is to promote diversity of language.  And to encourage language learning.  Their website says “Even if you only know a few words of the language of the country that you visit, this enables you to make new friends and contacts.”  Erm, they obviously haven’t been learning the same words as us then !

Language diversity is a great thing to celebrate.  But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t take you into the darker recesses of European languages would we?

Just about every language in the world has it’s profanities.    And they mostly hinge on bodily functions, sex and genitalia or god and religion.  But what is completely taboo in one country, might be pretty tame in another.

Depending on where you are, the culture and religion of a country, words will have different significance.  According to the BBC, curses involving mothers (mother-fucker, son of a bitch …) are more common “where Mary is co-star with Jesus” (ie where there are plenty of Catholics), and not so much in others.  Apparently, in Finland for instance, mother-based swearing will just confuse.   Female genitalia tends to be at the top of the taboo list in most countries.  But in the Scandinavian and neighbouring countries, it’s equalled by hell and the devil.  Some of Finland’s rudest words are saatana (Satan), perkele (devil – or more accurately, a pre-Christian god of thunder), and helvetti (Hell).  None of which carry much weight in English.  At least not these days.  (Though the Helvetti were also, according to Wikipedia, a Gallic tribe in Switzerland in the 1st century.  Language is confusing!)

European Day of Languages

In Sweden skit (shit) isn’t a very strong word.  It’s the sort of thing you can say in polite society.  Breaking from the god-sex-poo rules of swearing, Poland and the Netherlands add in death and disease.  “Cholera!” can be used as an exclamation in Poland (though it seems to be going out of fashion).  And just add “cancer” (kanker) to anything in Dutch and it becomes a rude insult.  This must be quite upsetting in hospital oncology departments?

OK, so less of the theory, you say, lets get on with the practice.  Well, our knowledge of European languages stops pretty much at the border, so to speak.  But we’ve picked up a few useful words on our travels.  And sourced a few for you too.  On European Day of Languages it is beholden of you to swear in other languages.  So go for it or ihre Mutter saugt Schwiene and Du bist ein Arschge fiktes Suppenhunt.  Apols for our German grammar, or lack thereof.  Like we say, we ain’t no experts.  If you speak any of these languages, feel free to tell us if we’ve got it wrong.

Useful Insults and Expletives in European Languages!

  Shit Fuck! Hell! And other expletives Fuck off/piss off/get lost and other useful insults
German Scheisse   Mach es dir selber
French Merde Putain Vas pisser dans les fleur
Danish   For helvede Pis af

Fuck af

Spanish Mierde Joder! Que te den por culo
Welsh Cach   Ffwcia oma
Polish     spierdalaj
Italian   Cazzo Figlio di puttana
Greek     Ay gamisou




Thinking of You Week – send a card to a friend 26 Sept – 2 Oct

Thinking of You Week

We all love receiving cards.  And we all love to know someone’s thinking of us.  So, we’re really happy to be taking part in Thinking of You Week next week.

Thinking of You Week was founded by the Greetings Card Association.  Yeah yeah, see we’ve woken up the cynics amongst you now!  But get this: loneliness is one of the biggest dangers to our health.  It is now recognised as a serious threat.

All on our ownsome

And it’s not just older people who feel lonely.  The Office of National Statistics recently found that 60% of 18-34 year old Brits often feel lonely.

Mind says “Being alone is not the same as being lonely”.  Loneliness is about social connections.  How much we need those connections varies from person to person.  But we all need them.


Here comes the science

Neuroscientist Professor Jonathan Haidt believes the brain only functions properly when it’s connecting with other brains.  Woo, that’s a bit … Dr Who isn’t it?  It makes sense when he explains it though.  We’re evolved to be social creatures.  That’s how we keep safe – kinda like a shoal of fish.  If we’re on the edge, we’re more vulnerable.  “Our brains go into self preservation mode” says the Professor.  We become more aggressive and anxious.

But don’t rely on numbers.  It’s all about closeness.  “It’s whether you feel isolated.  The brain’s not sitting there counting people.”

So don’t be thinking 500 friends on Facebook is going to stop anyone being lonely.  Quality over quantity.  Having someone to share your feelings with.  Having people that “get” you.

Ironically, its just when you really need those connections that you find they’re not there.  People seem to disappear when there’s a crisis.  We get anxious around other people’s crises.  We don’t know what to say.  We worry we’ll have to get too involved.  We have a feeling their sadness will rub off on us.  But it doesn’t have to be like that.  It can be just letting someone know you’re still there.

Thinking of You

So, Thinking of You Week not sounding so cynical now is it?  Go on, send a card to a friend.  Make sure they know they’re still in your gang.

Facebook competition

We’re running a little competition over on our Facebook page.  Tell us why your friend should get a card.  We’ll chose the best one next week and send them a card on your behalf.  And what’s more, it will be one of our delux limited edition gold foiled Thinking of You Cards.  A little sparkle for someone who needs it.


Dirty Pirates and Captain Pugwash : an Urban Myth Debunked


It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day, so we’re on the trail of our favourite pirates.  Our Lolloping Landlubber of a correspondent remembers the heady days of Watch With Mother.  Yes, she’s that old.  And she remembers the great Captain Pugwash and his dirty pirates scandal.

Those of us of a “certain age”  had no Captain Jack Sparrow, no Johnny Depp.  We got our fix of pirates from the great Captain Pugwash.  My sister fancied Tom the Cabin Boy, and why not, he was the most intelligent member of the crew.   On the other hand, always one for the bad boys, I was very fond of Cut-throat Jake.  We had the books.  And then came the TV series.  All good clean fun.

Well I’ll be scuppered

Then along came the dirty version.  Some time during the 1980s it became common knowledge that the characters had rather suggestive names.  People kept telling me that the cabin boy was called Roger (the Cabin Boy).  They were convinced – and convincing – that there were other double entendres too.  Mater Bates and Seaman Staines.  But I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the cabin boy was Tom.  On account of our kid fancying him.  Where had all this come from?

Kipper me capstans

In turns out that the rumours stemmed from joke articles in a student rag in the 1970s.  They’d made them up.  Somehow the articles turned into urban myth.  And the urban myth turned into “truth”.  Broadsheet and tabloid newspapers printed the story.  They told of how the BBC had taken Captain Pugwash off the air because of the risqué names.  The lovable pirates had been smeared!

No good will come of this, mark my words

Author of Pugwash, John Ryan won libel damages from the newspapers.  His daughter has since revealed that he was traumatised by the myths.  He had written innocent children’s books, and they’d been turned smutty. (1)

The Guardian printed a retraction:

“… we stated that the Captain Pugwash cartoon series featured characters called Seaman Staines and Master Bates, and for that reason the series had never been repeated by the BBC.  We accept that it is untrue that there wever were any such characters.  Further more the series continues to be shown on television … We apologize to Mr Ryan ….  We have agreed to pay him damages and his legal costs.” (2)

If only they’d bothered to ask their kids, it would have saved them a shed load of cash.  And  saved Mr Ryan years of heartache.

Blistering barnacles!

If you’re feeling a bit disappointed by this, you’ll be glad to know there was a Pirate Willy.  And a Master Mate, which in a certain light could be quite dirty. But you can still watch it with impunity.

(1) The Mirror online


Gamhammer and bobswinkles, it’s Roald Dahl Day!

I’ve learnt a new word today, and the word is neologism.  And Roald Dahl Day is a fine day to learn it.  Neologism is what Dahl did best.  Or at least one of the many things he did best.  Neologism is a newly invented word.  And Dahl was always newly inventing words.

The BFG is full of neologisms.  Infact the BFG himself has an entire language of them.  And it’s called – yet another neologism – Gobblefunk.  Getting words mixed up is the BFG’s speciality.   Dahl loved playing with words.  Adding the start of one word to the ending of another.  Sogmire is a soggy quagmire.  Or spoonerisms: Dahls Chickens, is a spoonerism of Charles Dickens.

Roald Dahl

Children love the slightly naughty word play.  It’s like a secret language that goes outside the rules of English.  It’s a bit silly and a bit disruptive, and would the grownups entirely approve?  The grownups on the other hand, might be chuckling into their fizzwiggler too.   If you read it as an adult, the words also sound ever so slightly suggestive.  I’m sure this wasn’t lost on Dahl.


So in honour of Roald Dahl day, we’ve invented our own neologisms.  We present our DYP InsultOMatic.  Create your own signature insult be using the initial letters of your first name and last name to pick a word from each column.  We challenge you, on this most auspicious day, to get your new insult into conversation.  Let us know how you get on!

DYP Insult-O-Matic

Initial of your first name Initial of your last name
Arsling A Applesucker
Bonquirked B Battlecoot
Crorked C Clingpat
Durful D Dupper
Esturian E Endkock
Foreskoopered F Fogwotton
Grotched G Googleknacker
Honked H Hupplewart
Insopulent I Iffelhooker
Jorkled J Jerrycracker
Knipped K Kackhandle
Licktent L Lopster
Monted M Moof
Nockeled N Nozzart
Orped O Oskrank
Perforine P Porkpucker
Quoofled Q Quikfick
Ringpulled R Rockledinger
Swooned S Snortleberry
Twyked T Trickler
Uncripped U Underpicker
Vancing V Vanny
Witchetfaced W Windlefacker
Xlavering X Xylox
Yonked Y Yupront
Znocklewinked Z Zooglecrack


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