Slice of Life Story Challenge March 15 - A Load of Piffle!

As I drove home this afternoon caught in the freeway crawl and stutter, I had ample time to listen to the radio. I was hoping for some light relief. The announcer asked people to call in and talk about things that had fallen out of use, or gradually faded from view. I immediately had a connection to a conversation I had with some teachers the day before. We were discussing vocabulary development and the challenge that idiomatic language often presents for English language learners. 

As we talked, the conversation turned to the fluid nature of language. Words come and go. Words fall out of use. Words that featured strongly during one’s childhood, may rarely be heard in latter years. For me, I think of words like, skedaddle, bonza, piffle and scallywag.  
Each generation develops its own preferred word set it seems. –

And so in an attempt to pay homage to at least one of those old words and prolong its use, I have written the following homage to that great little word-  piffle…

A Load of Piffle

I heard the man who lives in the apartment next door

Say to his wife

That’s a load of piffle

And I wondered to myself

Why did he take a load of piffle into his apartment?

How did he get that all that piffle upstairs?

Did he carry it up the stairs in a bucket?

Did he carry it on his back?

Or did he put the piffle in his pocket

And plod up the stairs

And now that he’s got that piffle upstairs

What will he do with it?

And what does a pile of piffle look like anyway?

I have to say that piffle is particularly puzzling




  1. Love your homage to piffle! I might have to use this word today for something. But what does a pile of piffle look like? Love it!

  2. It is interesting to watch language evolve. I'm always interested to learn what are the new words that are added to the dictionary each year. It is sad to see the demise of such great words (scallywag. skedaddle, etc.)
    You have done piffle proud. The final line's alliteration is perfect.

  3. Love this! It's so interesting when you work with kids to see firsthand how different words evolve. This is the kind of thing my mom would love--I will have to pass this link on to her!

  4. My 8th graders just came to class asking if I knew the phrase "I am going to hit you with a wet noodle." Language is so fun and your piffle poem is the perfect celebration of that. A playful springboard... and this poem in the form of a list of questions reminds me of a "Snapshot Writing" form that Sara Holbrook shared today at the Illinois Reading Council Conference--Question Poems.


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