New words: from OTT to WAG


My back is killing me! For the first time in months!
Not the result of over-exercise, just the mismanagement of my heavy suitcase on my way back from Norwich.
This occurence sent me back to reading my mail and blogging. In my mail, had been sitting a nice comment from a new commenter, Susie Vereker.
As I had a look at her blog, in no time I had three new words.
The first one was OTT, obviously an acronym.
I found it reading a post entitled Failing to be French, had to consult the acronym dictionary and assumed it meant Over The Top, rather than Off The Truck 😉 or Ottawa, among the first three offerings.

One cupboard here contains the remains of my Paris clothes, all quite unsuitable and OTT for Hampshire

Hatty lady


I remembered one of the photos I took last year and thought it would be suitable to illustrate the acronym 😉

Chic-lit review
Blogging about blogger Petite Anglaise who has just published a book, she wrote

Despite not being a WAG, she’s had wonderful media coverage for her book launch – even the FT has reviewed her – and the controversy amongst her readers can only help sales.

I did get the FT, or at least I hope so 😉 (Financial Times, is it?), but WAG puzzled me! It did look like an acronym, but the Acronym Finder made me wonder if I’d have to make a WAG (Wild Ass Guess) to figure it out; the fourth entry Wives and Girlfriends (of the English Football team) didn’t seem to make sense as I took it literally and Petite Anglaise isn’t a footballer’s wife, AFAIK.
So I resorted to The Urban Dictionary, recommended by my daughter and finally chose the Wife and girlfriend explanation. Was I right?


12 thoughts on “New words: from OTT to WAG

  1. I remember that photo and she is definitely over the top! What I see now is how much the woman in the rear looks like my mother’s sister, who is long since dead. She has a twin for certain!!

  2. After resisting a long time, I finally got the Internet. I thought I would be completely at ease. After all I knew English and French. Then I discovered blogs. What fun it was! I could speak with people from all over the world. That’s when I found out that bloggers have a very special way to express their emotions and to expediate their messages. Someone sent me to Acronyms and Emoticons. I refuse…I absolutely refuse… It’s hard enough to navigate between the Bristish and the American, the Parisian, the Canadian French and the South of France. I tell all bloggers: “Abbreviate all you want, smile and cry with your funny faces. I remain impervious to what you try to tell me unless you say it as clearly as possible. TMLW: That’s my last word.”

    I don’t need an emoticon to say: With a wink and laughter…

  3. I imagine there’s many definitions for OTT…..but being a nurse, what it means to me is “over the counter” in referring to meds bought that way, as opposed to prescription meds.

  4. Surely that’s OTC, Terri.

    “Under the counter”, though, that’s a different thing (= “Système D”, more or less, Claude: slightly more respectable than “fell off the back of a lorry”).

  5. Yes to all three of your guesses!

    (a)It’s very unusual for chick-lit to be reviewed in the Financial Times/FT.

    (b)The British Press is obsessed with so-called celebrities like footballers’ Wives and Girlfriends. Some of these WAGs have started ‘writing’ books which, of course, attract a great deal more publicity than those by many professional authors.

    (c) Yes, Over the Top. But I promise I have never ever worn a hat like the one in your wonderful illustration!

  6. Claudia in Toronto. I should also explain that OTT, FT and WAG are every day acronyms in UK English, not Blogese or email-lingo.
    But I’ll try to be more careful in future!

  7. Oops, Susie, I’m getting out of touch. OTT and FT were familiar enough but, like Claude, I was puzzled about WAGs until I read through the comments.

  8. Susie Vereker – You’re very reassuring. Thank you with all my French-Canadian heart. I don’t know why I’m complaining. At least 6 to 8 people are always ready to clarify the puzzles I encounter in blogs. And I receive a lot more winks in the cyber-world than I ever did in my real life…

  9. Claude…

    It’s always fun when you go off on words that are new to you, but today, for me, it’s that hat in the photo. Some years ago I tried on a similar hat and as I could never have guessed, I looked fabulous in it. And it was a load of fun walking around the shop wearing it, peering in mirrors while turning my head to and fro.

    Oh, how wanted that hat. I’d never owned anything that made me feel so elegant. The price tag, however, was US$400, but the bigger problem was where would I wear it. In the U.S., land of blue jeans and Crocs, there just isn’t an occasion for it.

    I’m still disappointed.

  10. @ Ronni, in France there are very few places where you could wear a hat like that and not look OTT –practising on my newly acquired vocabulary 😉 and 400$ sounds outrageously expensive for a hat!
    @ Claudia, don’t you worry about acronyms and other lingo, you must have been an Internet geek in another life, I just cannot believe how fast you caught on! 😉 (couldn’t resist a wink, here!)

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