dibbers and wodgers [about gardening]

< Previous | Next >

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi,

Here's from Julian Barnes, Pulse:
"[opened the gift package] and saw a line of glass test tubes with corks in the top, a set of plastic bottles containing different coloured liquids, a long plastic spoon, and assorted mysterious dibbers and wodgers."

This is from a short story called Gardeners' World.

What does wodgers mean?

Thank you!
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    There's some strange things in the package. The narrator doesn't know what they are, and neither do I, but "wodger" is a good nonce word to use with "dibber" (which is, of course, a real garden tool).
     

    kajabla

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Well, a "wodge" is a real word, though uncommon. A wodge of something is a decently sized chunk of it, so a wodger could be a tool for taking wodges of things, some kind of trowel. "Wodger" still isn't a real thing, but it could have a meaning the author's inventing on the spot rather than being truly nonsense.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Well, a "wodge" is a real word, though uncommon. A wodge of something is a decently sized chunk of it, so a wodger could be a tool for taking wodges of things, some kind of trowel. "Wodger" still isn't a real thing, but it could have a meaning the author's inventing on the spot rather than being truly nonsense.
    Who said anything about nonsense? See the OED
    nonce-wordn. [one of a number of terms coined by James Murray especially for use in the N.E.D.] a word apparently used only ‘for the nonce’, i.e. on one specific occasion or in one specific text or writer's works.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top