The sixth instalment of our lexicographical endeavour, a dictionary for the super-wealthy
Qatar: Everything in Britain is now owned by the Qatari royal family. Everything. You thought it was just Harrods, the Olympic village, the Shard, No 1
Hyde Park and Sainsbury’s. No, it’s everything: the roads you walk on, the house you live in, the sunlight you occasionally see. After the financial crisis of 2008, the UK government thought the best way out of our debts was an investment by a sovereign wealth fund, and so it sold Britain.
Queen, The: Long to reign over us, etc.
Recession: The perpetual state of the British economy. Let’s all just go somewhere sunny.
Rich List: Being on a rich list merely means you’re not rich enough to hire people to keep you off a rich list. The world’s truly wealthy (corrupt presidents, drug barons) would never appear on one of these.
Richistan: Although Spear’s regularly receives calls asking for details of the London embassy of Richistan, we cannot give those out.
Ritz: If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, why don’t you go where fashion sits?
Royalty: See Queen, The; Charles, Prince; York, Duke of; do not see: Middleton, Carole.
Sardinia: Where the sardines live.
Savoy, The: A formerly glamorous hotel on the Strand.
Schillings: If you receive a letter from Schillings, pick it up with coal tongs and run it under cold water until it stops smoking.
Silicone: You know it when you feel it.
Social Investing: A Good Thing, where investors put money into projects which have both a financial and a social return. Everyone wins!
Social Network: Originally this meant those fit to invite round for tea and those who couldn’t be trusted with the silver. Now it means keeping in electronic contact with friends you don’t like, acquaintances you don’t know and one-night stands you don’t remember.
Socialites: These are people of indeterminate age, origin and gender who are at every social gathering regardless of whether they were invited or not. They frequently make surgical adjustments to their faces to avoid being recognised as gatecrashers.
Suit: This comes in two varieties: Bespoke and Law. The former is when your tailor runs his hands up your inside leg; the latter is when you run your hands up your tailor’s inside leg.
Terroir: This describes the particular aspects of a place which affect the quality of its produce — eg grapes grown in Chernobyl can be said to have a terroir with a distinct green glow. See also: Reign of Terroir: Gordon Brown’s prime ministerial years.
Thoroughbred: Whether a horse or a husband, a thoroughbred must be checked for teeth, feet and fetlocks. The last thing you want is to stable a thoroughbred husband only to discover that he’s no good at fences and can’t eat out of his nosebag daintily.
Toff: An affectionate term for one of the right sort. Sample sentence: ‘It’s toff if you ain’t got it’ (Shakespeare, Prince Harry)
Treasury: This is where the money used to be kept.
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