When you think of P.G. Wodehouse, you think of pigs, aunts, potty earls and dapper younger brothers, unflappable omniscient butlers, goofy young men and irresistible young women – and a language that’s absolutely unique, peppered with words and phrases as funny and bizarre as the situations the characters get into. Wodehouse uses words and expressions such as “oojah-cum-spiff’, “rannygazoo” and “twenty-minute egg”. Colourful, outlandish, memorable.
But did you know he was the first writer known to have used the word “cuppa” ? It’s such a common word. Yet, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the first evidence of the word comes from him. The OED has 1,756 quotations from Wodehouse. Here are the 22 words which, according to the OED, first appeared in the writings of Wodehouse. Here are the words, in alphabetical order, followed by the quotations from Wodehouse. The entries are all from the OED.