Twaddle and Poppycock

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My friend Patrick regularly uses the expression ‘twaddle and poppycock’ – to refer to an opinion, allegation – or anything that he regards as meaningless nonsense…

Apparently twaddle is of unknown origin. The only suggestion is that it’s linked to the idea of ‘twiddling your thumbs’…pretty valueless

Poppycock comes from two old Dutch words ‘pap’ – meaning soft chewed up food and ‘kak’ meaning…excrement. Hence ‘pappekak’… Enough said.

Yesterday I was listening to the old Kirsty MacColl song with the chorus:

There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis
Just like you swore to me that you’d be true
There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis
But he’s a liar and I’m not sure about you

Mildly amusing twaddle and poppycock, but with a message of honesty, trust and integrity.

This week we’ve had the claims made by Dominic Cummings – the Prime Minister’s former adviser who was sacked November 2020.

He claims that Boris Johnson is unfit for office, that Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have been fired due to government mistakes, that tens of thousands of people died needlessly in the pandemic…

And there have been responses from both government and opposition…. Whatever your political views there are questions about twaddle and poppycock as well as honesty, trust and integrity.

Chatting to my friend Gus yesterday. He’s been reading Luke’s account of Jesus’ resurrection….

…The women have seen angels and an empty tomb. They report back to the disciples: ‘…But they did not believe the women because their words seemed to them like nonsense.’

Apparently the word translated as ‘nonsense’ is unusual word – very similar to ‘twaddle and poppycock…’

The disciples soon changed their mind; what they thought of as twaddle and poppycock they later believed to be true. Further issues of honesty trust and integrity…

And I’d like the guy who works down the chip shop actually to be Elvis.

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