31 March 2010


Canoodling may be just another word, but it ranks alongside even shenanigans for sheer trip-off-your-tongue pleasure. Unlike syzygy or tmesis, which merely make one look pretentious, canoodling is a word for everyone, however common. Even René Artois took the time to muse on why his best waitress would spend such an amount of time canning noodles in the cellar of his café, which goes to show two things: firstly the word canoodling is perfect for inclusion in British sit-coms, and secondly that its meaning occasionally needs to be explained. Even to those who indulge in a lot of it.

For who amongst us has not canoodled, at one point or another? That moment of frisky pleasure, that late-night tryst in the corner of the pub, sliding your hand slowly up someone-else's body, whispering utter nonsense into their ear in the hope that the fasteners on their clothing are somehow linked to their belief that you fancy them.

Canoodling is making out. It's approaching heavy petting. It's anything above first base. Hell, it might as well even be first base - it's just getting it on with someone. But it's not serious, not right at the moment you begin to canoodle. It may become serious later on - you may consider a proper relationship, involving sex, arguments and buying soft furnishings together. But canoodling's a bit of fun to begin with - a bit of slap and tickle.

And so I ask again... who amongst us can honestly say that at one point or another they're never, ever canoodled? Say it with me - let it roll off your tongue. Canoodle, ladies and gentlemen; one of our language's finest words, not to mention a great way to spend a Friday night.

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