[Ads-l] 2 new (British) words: webs and trabs

Andy Bach afbach at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 18 15:14:38 EST 2017

But when the Guardian asked its readers to contribute their favourite
dialect words, it discovered not one, but two.

“Webs” and “trabs” – both of which can mean trainers and were contributed
from Liverpool – were just two of the dialectal words and phrases contributed
by Guardian readers
following an article
about the British Library’s Evolving English WordBank


"trainers" here refers to training (I assume, running) shoes:

“The recently published Liverpool English Dictionary comments on the use of
‘webs’ in the 1950s to mean ‘feet’ but the responses to the Guardian
callout would indicate that the word has evolved a new meaning – in this
case a related meaning, because you obviously wear trainers on your feet,”
said Jonnie Robinson, lead curator of spoken English at the British Library
I think the first Nike "waffle" running shoes were called "trainers". This
came from following a link from:

which had the ambiguous (to me) use of "more unique"
Soon I had three copies of Strunk and White’s *Elements of Style*, four
Fowlers, and three copies of Partridge’s *Usage and Abusage*. But I also
came to possess more unique copies of usage guides, such as a first edition
of *Plain Words* by Sir Ernest Gowers, found in the Amnesty Bookshop
in Mill Road in Cambridge along with a later edition of his *ABC of Plain

I've always felt the qualified absolute/"a little pregnant" rule was, er,
absolute but re-reading this a couple times, does it means "more copies of
unique usage guides" with the books being new to the collection, or one of
a kind editions in the world of usage guides?


Andy Bach,
afbach at gmail.com
608 658-1890 cell
608 261-5738 wk

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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