Balderdash and Piffle

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Balderdash and Piffle
Format Etymology documentary
Created by BBC
Starring Victoria Coren et al.
No. of episodes 15 (+1 follow-up)
Production
Producer(s) Takeaway Media
Running time 30 Minutes
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two
Picture format 720x576 (anamorphic 16:9)
Original run 2 January 2006 – 6 July 2007
External links
Website

Balderdash and Piffle was a British television programme made by Takeaway Media for the BBC. Presented by Victoria Coren, it was a companion to the Oxford English Dictionary's Wordhunt, in which the writers of the dictionary asked the public for help in finding the origins and first known citations of a number of words and phrases.

The OED panel consisted of John Simpson, the Chief Editor of the OED; Peter Gilliver, who was also the captain of the Oxford University Press team in University Challenge: The Professionals; and Tania Styles, who also appeared in "dictionary corner" in Countdown.

Series 1[edit]

The first series of Balderdash & Piffle was originally broadcast in January 2006, each programme being based around a letter. Following the conclusion of the first series, a follow-up episode aired on 16 April 2006 with updates on the discoveries members of the public had made, resulting in several further changes to the dictionary.

Series 2[edit]

A new Wordhunt was launched in January 2007 and the results featured in the second series of the programme which began on Friday 11 May at 10pm on BBC Two.

The second series was divided thematically. Victoria Coren was joined by guest reporters who attempted to trace the etymology and first documentary use of words, based on suggestions from the British public. Victoria Coren then took the evidence they had found to a panel of OED staff, who decided whether this evidence was sufficient to include in the dictionary.

The books[edit]

Balderdash and Piffle is also the name given to two books written by Alex Games. The first, titled Balderdash and Piffle was published by BBC Books in 2006. A second book, also by Alex Games and published by BBC Books, is titled Balderdash and Piffle: One sandwich short of a dog's dinner and accompanied the second series of the show.

The two books explore the origins of a number of words in the English language, including randy, shampoo and bouncy castle.

Balderdash & Piffle
Balderdash and Piffle.jpg
Author Alex Games and Victoria Coren
Cover artist Smith & Gilmour, London
Language English
Subject Etymology
Publisher BBC Books
Publication date
2006
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 304
ISBN 0-563-49336-4
OCLC 67864613
Balderdash & Piffle: One Sandwich Short of a Dog's Dinner
Balderdash and Piffle dogs dinner.jpg
Author Alex Games and Victoria Coren
Language English
Subject Etymology
Publisher BBC Books
Publication date
2006
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 304
ISBN 978-1-84607-235-2

External links[edit]