'Clunge hammer' and my other favourite words, by Susie Dent

THE English language has the largest vocabulary in the world, but the favourite words of demure Countdown lexicographer Susie Dent are the ones you’d least expect. Such as these:

Clunge hammer

Yes, it’s technically two words, but bookish academics like myself aren’t anal. This word pairs clunge, which dates back to the 1970s, with the proto-Germanic term ‘hamerzeug’ to describe a man’s penis. The implication here being that the penis would like to repeatedly pound away on the aforementioned clunge with the rhythmic action of a striking hammer, which I find beautifully evocative.


As far as we know, ‘f**k’ is an early 16th century word of German origin that has been used liberally ever since its invention. You’re probably familiar with words like ‘f**kstain’, ‘f**kwit’ and ‘motherf**ker’, for example. F**kface is my favourite though because of its delightful fricative alliteration that trips off the tongue. Go on, try saying it to yourself. ‘F**kface’. Fun, isn’t it?


This word for vagina has fallen out of favour in recent years, which is a real shame. It’s understandable though, due to the fierce competition of other words such as pussy, quim, fanny, snatch and twat, to name a few. There’s a lot to be said for growler though. It suggests something rough and ready, which is how I like it.

Cum dumpster

A relative newcomer to the English language, this one. It’s used to describe a promiscuous woman who engages in unprotected sexual intercourse with multiple men. The implication here being that sperm is deposited inside her much like rubbish is disposed of in a dumpster. If you wanted to use it in a sentence, you could say: ‘Your mother is a right cum dumpster.’


Words for flatulence often sound disgusting. Take, fart, guff and trump, for example. Queef on the other hand almost sounds like queen, which is posh and dignified. This makes it perfectly suited to describing the zephyrs of trapped gas escaping from a woman’s vagina during sex and exercise. I let out half a dozen thunderous queefs during my Origins of Words segment, but because I’m not miked up down there you never hear them. Thank God.

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Carrying three mugs of tea: The amazing stunts of active 80-year-old Indiana Jones

INDIANA Jones is the age of your grandad and able to perform many of the same thrilling stunts. Marvel during Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny as he successfully picks up the dog’s ball.

Brings in three mugs of tea

Not only has he correctly remembered you don’t take sugar, daredevil octogenarian Indy is carrying all three mugs at once. Moving expertly to the coffee table, he places them all down without a drop of spillage, to applause. He has to nip back into the kitchen for the biscuits, though. He’s not superhuman.

Drives to the shops

Audiences with elderly relatives will relish the heart-in-mouth moment when Professor Jones climbs into his 2015 Renault Clio to nip down the precinct even though there’s a new mini-roundabout he’s unfamiliar with. When he eventually slides into his favourite parking spot outside the chemist, you’ll exhale with relief.

Gives his granddaughter a piggyback

Tension rises as Jones’s six-year-old grandchild, ignorant of his longstanding lumbar problems, demands to ride on his back. Gritting his teeth, the well-past-pension-age archaeologist finds new reserves of strength and manages to give her a piggyback ride for upwards of 45 seconds, leaving audiences aghast.

Gets the Countdown conundrum

In a key scene, Indy puts on his varifocals and, poised with a pen and working-out paper in front of the television at precisely 2.35pm, solves the nine-letter Countdown conundrum by spotting that ‘MADSTABLE’ is ‘LAMBASTED’. ‘As sharp as ever eh, Professor Jones?’ Phoebe Waller-Bridge quips in her Fleabag voice.

Makes an online purchase

The clock is counting down, Indiana has seen an item on eBay he believes is the Clockwork Emerald of Ravenser Odd, and against the odds he’s managed to create an account. With only moments to go he links it to his PayPal and puts in the winning bid. Now all he has to do is wait for the postman and leave feedback.

Sees a trans woman in an advert

Right at the climax of the movie Indy, in his trademark battered fedora, is forced face-to-face with the gender revolution. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as he clearly clocks the model is not cis, watching his jaw work as he holds back his reaction, then cheering in triumph as he says ‘Well I suppose it’s up to her what she looks like’ and moves on.