”Are you all sitting comfybold two square on your botty?”

Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of one of my childhood heroes, ‘Professor’ Stanley Unwin (1911-2002).

Unwin’s comedy was largely based around his invented language ‘Unwinese’, or ‘Basic Engly Twentyfido’, probably named after philosopher Charles Kay Ogden‘s ‘controlled languageBasic English – but whereas Ogden was motivated by a desire to make language simpler to aid learning and international communication Unwin’s was to delight his listeners with gobbledegook that almost makes sense.

Unwin has been described as the greatest linguistic innovators since James Joyce and this opening to his version of ”Goldylocks and the Three Bears” illustrates why:

     ”Now, once a-polly tito. You may think that doesn’t sound quite right. But believe me, once a-polly tito it is, and in this case it was Goldylopper’
     ‘Goldyloppers trittly-how in the early mordy, and she falolloped down the steps. Oh unfortunade for cracking of the eggers and the sheebs and the buttery full-falollop and graze the knee-clappers. So she had a vaselubrious, rub it on and a quick healy huff and that was that. So off she went, and she went trittly-how down the garbage path, and at the left right-hand-side goal she passed a [sniff] poo-pom, it was hillows a humus heapy in the garbage! But never mind. Erm… she lost her wail.’’

– Stanley Unwin, Goldyloppers and the Three Bearloaders

Unwin provided the narration for the B-side of The Small Facespsychedelic LP Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake (1968), telling the story of the dreamer Happiness Stan and his pursuit of the ‘missing’ portion of the Moon.

Unwin voiced Father Stanley Unwin in Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation series The Secret Service (1969) – but Lew Grade, in one of his many short-sighted decisions,  cancelled the show because he thought Unwin’s language would alienate American audiences .


  1. Stanneroo says:

    Huffalo dowder upside dadle in the afterlubrious with tilty elbow and down the throakus there too?

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