Glossary of TermsGlossary of Terms


The historical, traditional, and often downright strange songs in Dr. Busker's repertoire are filled with many colourful and unusual words, many of which have passed out of everyday use — some, unfortunately, never quite managed to enter everyday use in the first place.

There are also words used in the areas of steam and beer, many of which overlap, as these two areas are often very closely related. (Why do you think the steam engines are always nearest the beer tent?)

Brasses from Kent (pl.n.) bra-siz-from-kent:   The glamourous parts of Aveling & Porter traction engines and road rollers, as opposed to "tacky" brass fitted afterwards to converted Showlers.

Bubble (n.) bubb-(u)le:   Modern white caravan as opposed to a period caravan or living van.

Bunker-Rat (n.) bung-ker rat:   A small child riding on a traction engine, invariably filthy.

Diddicoy (n.) did-ee-coy:   From Romany diddiki: "Gypsy". Sometimes trading on Steam rally sites. Also known as Pikey, Did, HedgeHopper.

First World War (Lloydism):   The ill-fated 8-day Great Dorset Steam Fair "the 24th show" when it rained all 8 days.

Gricer (n.) gry-ser:   Person who enthusiastically collects numbers of traction engines or railway locomotives; anorak; also:Adrian Mole, Bill Gates.

Grockle (n.) grock-(u)le:   A tourist (sometimes derogatory) when on the road usually lost, with a long tail back of frustrated car drivers following.

Hades (pr.n.) hay-deez:   Trade section of Steam Rally. Hell to get into, hell to get out of.

Hitler (abs.n.) hit-ler:   Jumped-up git with no more power than a dead battery, who often likes to push his (often obese) weight around.

Horizontal Harry (pr.n.) hor-iz-on-tal-har-ee:   The poorest man in Sussex.

Joeys (pl.n.) jo-eez:   Gullible members of the public who visit Steam Rallies. "Hoping that the Joeys will be in the mood for buying".

Little Thief (n.) lit-ul-theef:   A "posh" road-side cafe. Avoided by enginemen who would rather spend their money in the Beer tent. Famous for Small Portions - Big Price.

Lloydism (abs.n.) loyd-iz-um:   A term brought into usage by Mr. Alan Lloyd of Malvern. Examples of Lloydisms are "First World War" and "toad-loader".

Mamod (pr.n.) mam-od:   Spirit-fired toy steam engine.

Manors and Castles (pl.n.) man-ors-and-car-sulls:   Refers to the "Manor" and "Castle" classes of Great Western Railway steam locomotives.

Mash-can (n.) mash-kan:   Traditional enamel can for brewing and storing tea, much favoured by steam engine drivers.

Mendoza (n.) men-dough-zer:   A musical instrument used for percussive accompaniment. Construction is of a stout pole affixed to a boot at the base, with bottle-tops fastened at intervals along the shaft. It is common practice for a stuffed toy monkey to be fixed to the top, hence the alternative name "monkey stick". "While Dr. Busker sang, I played the mendoza."

Money-Box (n.) mun-ee-box:   A vehicle giving rides around the site for financial reward.

Mump (vb.) mump:   To obtain an item for free without stealing it. "I'm going to see what I can mump.","I couldn't find it in the shops so I mumped it.". A person who practices mumping is known as a mumper.

Pay-go (Sarneyism, abs.n.) pay-go:   To push something to the limit, i.e. give it some pay-go.

"Pennies for the Poor":   A much-repeated phrase emanating from Horizontal Harry (qv) at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, aimed insultingly at anyone who lacks the funds to afford their own traction engine. The irony of this is that Horizontal Harry himself is the poorest man in Sussex and can't even run to a Mamod

Play-pen (n.) play-pen:   Where the Big Boys play hard with their big heavy toys, i.e. Great Dorset Steam Fair Heavy Haulage Arena. Often fenced with orange netting.

Pox-Doctors (pl.n.) pox-doct-ors:   The "38 Mob" of Didcot Railway Enthusiasts currently restoring the Great Western Railway 38xx class steam locomotive. Known as Pox Doctors due to their habitual wearing of long coats and top hats, they swear allegiance to Dr. Death's Freak Show and pride themselves on their ability to drink vast quantities of real ale.

Quaff (vb.) kwof:   To drink ale in a hearty fashion, usually accompanying feasting, dancing or singing. Like drinking, only you spill more of it. "Oh my head, I was quaffing ale all night!"

Sarneyism (abs.n.) sar-nee-iz-um:   A term brought into usage by Mr. Jim Sarney, a steam engine owner and rally-goer. Examples of Sarneyisms are "Yawp" and "pay-go".

Showlers (pl.n.) show-lerz:   An award was given at Dorset Steam Fair several years running for the tackiest showmans' conversions, engines which started life as handsome steam rollers, bodged to look like ugly showmans' tractors.

SODEM (Acronym, pr.n.) sod-um:   Society Of Drivers and Engine Men. A traction engine society mainly consisting of permanently drunken persons.

South Down (pr.n.) sow-th-dow-n:   Great Dorset Steam fair Rally Site.

Spit-bang (n.) sspit-bang:   Term used derisively to refer to the Stationary Engine section, A.K.A. Barn Engines. See: Pennies For The Poor.

Stourpaine (pr.n.) stow-er-pay-ne:   Most common term referring to the Great Dorset Steam Fair - from the location of the first rally site.

Toad-loader (Lloydism, n.) tode-lo-duh:   Very rude songs liable to offend even the most forgiving prudes. From an adult version of "Tie Me Kangaroo Down", specifically the verse descibing what may be done to a toad.

Turdis (n.) tur-dis:   Blue plastic Portaloo invariably lacking in bog roll.

Yawp (Sarneyism, vb.) yorp:   Loud Noise: "That squeezebox don't half yawp!