Friday, 12 April 2013


Yes, it's the happening thing right across InterWebSpace.
For years now, people who don't go to church have been using little acronyms in their texts, on Facebook and in Twitter postings to make succinct, witty comments. "LOL", for example, means "Laughs out loud". Unless you're a Conservative Prime Minister, in which case it stands for "Gets too close to the Press."
Of course, the Church knew that it had to get on this bandwagon - show it's hot, hip and happening and down wiv the kids wot don't care wevver dey is affeist or not (dwtkwdcwdiaon). Which is why, after only five years' consultation, Churches Together have managed to produce a provisional list of ecumenical txtspk - chrchspk 0.9.
The list is subject to final approval within the next ten years, which is why I thought it was best to leak it now. Some might point out that in the "too nice to be..." it is impossible to tell the difference between an atheist and an Anglican. Which is, of course, sometimes true. So I reckon that works......

5ss - five-service Sunday (to save rural Anglican priests listing them all out)

aawu - "and also with you"

ahtirl - "acts holier than IRL"

bgf - "blames Giles Fraser"

cap - "contemplates a pebble"

crotbpit "confuses rest of train by praying in tongues"

chtt - "considerably holier than thou"

ctt - "crosses the Tiber"

dgi - "doesn't get irony"

dhc - "defends hopeless cause"

dmwwa - "doesn't match words with actions"

dpipbvip - "disagrees privately in public but viciously in private"

dwv - "disagrees with vicar"

gmfybinw - "God may forgive you but I never will"

iawg - "I agree with Giles"

idoe - "in danger of excommunication"

iitsoie - "indulges in Twitter-storm on insufficient evidence"

ittuobgwnm - "I'll talk to you online but glad we'll never meet"

latl - "lights a tea light"

liiyts - "loses interest in yesterday's Twitterstorm

lmoa - "Lutherans may offer adoration"

opfh - "offers prayers for healing"

pabw - "prayers and best wiishes"

pap - "punches a Presbyterian"

pls - "polite little smile"

ptom - "preferred the old minister"

rital - "rolls in the aisle, laughing"

sbic - "secretly believes in Creationism"

sgf - "suppresses guilty feelings"

sh - "suspects heresy"

shm - "says Hail Mary"

sot4td - "switches off Thought for the Day"

ssg - "smug, saved grin"

sottsmp "switches off Twitter to say Morning Prayer"

tntbaa(w/c/a/f) - "too nice to be an atheist (Wesleyan/Catholic/Anglican/Fundamentalist)

upbrp - "upsets parish by removing pews"

wiamwh - "wonders if a Mass would help"

wtib - "we tried it before"

wua9rca8s - "wakes up at 9, remembers communion at 8, screams"

wwui - "wishes we used incense"


  1. To be properly ecclesiastical, this list should appear about a year or more after nobody else would be seen dead using the terms.

    1. Quite right. And they'd still cause a storm among people who thought they were daringly modern.

  2. Are these authorised for use as hashtags on Twitter?

    1. do you have to apply to Twitter for permission? That's terrible.

    2. I assumed the World Council of Druids would have given a ruling on it.

  3. A lot of people seem to manage ok with nothing but bgf

  4. There was an initiative in our parish magazine to educate people to accept similar terms to shorten the Vicar's monthly insert, to reduce the number of words in adverts to get more in and to confuse martians if they ever come across a copy on their periodic visits to observe those funny things with only two legs and no antenna or green skins:

    Being a bunch who fail to accept responsibility for anything, we started from that point and never got much further:

    btcw - Blame the Church Warden.
    btv - Blame the Vicar
    btc - Blame the Curate
    btfa - Blame the Flower Arrangers.
    bto - Blame the Organist.
    btvg - Blame the Verger
    btgd - Blame the Grave Digger.
    btb - Blame the Bishop.
    btad - Blame the Arch Deacon
    btdbf - Blame DBF
    btbc - Blame the Bishops Chaplain.
    btr - Blame the Reader(s).
    btch - Blame the Choir.
    btsv - Blame the Servers.
    btpcc - Blame the PCC.
    bttr - Blame the Treasurer.
    btpsa - Blame the Parish Administrator
    btsgo - Blame the Safeguarding Officer
    btro - Blame the Rota Organiser.

    Thank you for bgf because that rounds it off nicely.

    And another topical one could well be:

    bfoc - Blame the Faith and Order Commission.

  5. I note that "tntbaa" can mean "too nice to be an atheist" or "too nice to be an Anglican".

    Some might say this could cause confusion. Others might say that there is no confusion at all. (I couldn't possibly comment.)

    It is, though, hard to imagine what kind of an utter drip the latter term could conceivably apply to.

  6. UKViewer: One that I have had frequent recourse to is "btdac". (No-one who has ever served on a PCC will need to have that one explained.)

  7. B-Foc sounds like it could be Chris Cocksworth's rapper name.

    gc - gets coat

  8. Love it! cap, latl and ctt (not necessarily in that order) = story of my life. pabw to you!

  9. I was thinking about the chspk theme and realised that I'm ideally qualified to edit the next edition. Fort three years in the services where everything it abbreviated and where even abbreviations are abbreviated would seem to be the best preparation for Church Speak.

    Mind you, when I first joined the Church I needed reeducation in the terminology, particularly on things like BCP and CW. Than I came to realise that the Church is very much like the Army.

    They have leaders (Ldrs), managers (Mgr), commissioners (Cmr)), and Bishops mission orders (BMO), Myers Brig (MY), Eeneagram (EG) and all sorts of stuff which I was extremely familiar with. The use the term Obedience (Ob) for just about everything and have Doctrine (TACDOC) and Canon's (ARTY) just like Queens Regulations (QR) and even the 39 Articles, which are just like the Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS). They have the Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) equating to the Manual of Service Law (MSL) and I'm aware that Conduct Unbecoming of Clergy (CUC) is virtually the same as Conduct Unbecoming of Military (CUM). There are so many similarities it's frightening.

    I believe that the church is missing a trick here. It should be directly recruiting from the Armed Forces. Thousands are being made redundant just now and you get a full trained up member, familiar with order and discipline, who are ver used to 'hurry up and wait' (their mantra) that the churches way of doing things will be their way of doing things. Who runs the CofE Suggestion Box?


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