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Willies and Gofers - it takes all sorts

I THOUGHT I had it tough with my daily commute - from East Lothian to The Herald offices in Glasgow, which occupies four hours of my day by means of Shanks's Pony, bus and train - until yesterday, when I heard a snippet on Radio 4's Today programme.

They were talking about people who have jobs in the Big Smoke but houses in Auld Reekie. Such people, it seems, are known by the acronym Willies (Work in London, Live In Edinburgh).

Of course, Willies need not be exclusive to the two capitals. I imagine there are a few in Morayshire, for example: those who Work In Lossiemouth, Live In Elgin (I could show off my knowledge of the north-east of Scotland here by adding the possibility of Lhanbryde and Ellon, but I won't). There are also, I suppose, many thousands of Wallies (Works And Lives Locally, In Edinburgh).

Acronyms - which as every schoolboy knows are abbreviations formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word - have been growing in popularity since the 1980s and the rise of the Yuppy (which, as a Young Upwardly-mobile Person, should really be a Yump, but let's not go there).

They were quickly joined by those of a Dinky characterisation (Dual Income, No Kids Yet). Since I'm the envious sort, though, I think of those types as being Manky (Multiple Assets, No Kids Yet).

There are many other demographic groupings, such as Gofer (Genial Old Friends Enjoying Retirement, though a noun of a more scatalogical nature is often substituted), Woofs (Well-Off Older Folk), and the nemesis of the previous two, Kippers (Kids in Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings).

In my daily commute, from Musselburgh unto Glasgow (Mug), I meet more than a few acronyms.

At the bus stop on a Monday morning there's often a pleasant, garrulous chap who is desperate to engage one in chat about his weekend passion, trainspotting. He's a Tuba (Totally Unstoppable, But Amiable). Sometimes, though - and the fact that it's the start of the working week doesn't help - I confess I give in to Fear (Forget Everything And Run).

On the train, I often find myself seated next to a Halfwit (Has A Laptop Fixation, Will Incessantly Type). I would say something, but I'm afraid I'm a Mouse (Mutters Obsequiously, Uses Silent Expletives).

Ah well, it takes all types, I suppose.

Contextual targeting label: 
Families

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