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From Bozza to Daffidavis: the Johnson’s Brexit Dictionary Hall of Fame

Posted 29th Mar 2018

‘A delight’ – Stephen Fry

Johnson’s Brexit Dictionary lands today! For a flavour of this witty antidote to today’s chaotic political times, read on for some of the hilarious definitions describing those at the helm of the Brexit Brigade, from Theresa May to David Davis.


Botch [from bozza, pronounced ‘botza‘, Italian] A part of any work ill-finished, so as to appear worse than the rest.

Botcher [from Botch] A mender of old clothes

Bozza [Bo’zza] One who attempts to patch up a political career in tatters, as ‘Sir Boris was well-named by the soubriquet “Bozza”, for he did patch his career together from rags and shreds.’ (Addison)


An alms-basket; a receptacle of charity.

‘Thoud’st make of this nation one vast Corban, if thou could’st, sirrah Corbyn, ha ha!’ (SIR BORIS, IN BEN JONSON, BARTHOLOMEW UNFAIR)


From Affidavit [affivadivit signifies in the language of the common law, he made oath.]

A declaration upon oath. Hence, “to Daffidavis”, to swear a wild oath in the manner of David Davis, Brexit secretary, as ‘he Daffidavised that he would not make any compromise.’


Leadman, one who begins or leads a dance. So, Leadsom, one capable of leading a portion of a party a merry dance, though apt to break off abruptly.

‘You can mis-Leadsom of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.’  (PROVERB)


To be possible.

‘Politics is the Art of May be’ (ADDISON)

Hence also to be by chance.

‘It may be’ (SHAKESPEARE)

‘It may be May (for a bit longer).’ (SHAKESPEARE, THE HARD WINTER’S TALE)


[trompe, Dutch and Old French] A trumpet; an instrument of warlike musick.

‘the wakeful trump of doom’ (MILTON)

‘the wakeful Trump of doom’ (RON MILTON)


Purchase your copy of Johnson’s Brexit Dictionary  here.