The Art House dictionary

As with all people who work closely together, we’ve evolved a little language of our own……

In the interests of inclusivity, here are some definitions of commonly used words and phrases at The House of Art.

Argh – What we call Ziggy (as in Zig-a-zig-argh!). Can also express fruistration. OR (Sign language) Hold your hand on the top of your head, fingers slightly spread, indicating sticking up hair – this is the sign for Ziggy.

Awe – same meaning as usual, but the usage is specific. Anything which we like will have ‘of awe’ added to it. For instance ‘Cake of Awe’, ‘New Mop of Awe’ etc

Bicky Tickly Beard
– what we call Bik. OR (Sign language) Hold your hand beneath your chin, fingers slightly spread, indicating a beard – this is the sign for Bik.

Blah – What we call Nina. OR (Sign language) Sweep your hand over the top of your head, indicating a shaved head – this is the sign for Nina.

– as in “Chuff can take it away” – short for ‘Geoff, our helpful person who comes and takes cardboard for recycling and sundry other items we no longer need, will remove this unwanted item and see that it gets a good home/recycled’.

Compost – as in ‘Who is taking the compost’? – often heard at the end of the day, when the last few people are packing up to go and we realise with horror that there is a bag of organic waste which needs a suitable home to go to. This phrase is often followed by a swift exit of all present to avoid cycling home with a smelly bag of veg peelings and coffee grounds.

DOOM – most commonly used word, describing mess, junk, unwanted items, characteristics or events, and anything else which is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Example of usage ‘Who left all this doom at the bottom of the stairs?’ or ‘This weekend is going to be doom if we can’t find any crew’ or ‘I think we should get a new rice cooker, this one is doom’. Our attic is very full of doom. See also ‘Chuff’ who takes away a lot of the doom. We like him.

Jani Jellybean
– what we call Jani. OR(Sign language) Use both your hands, sweep them downwards from your head to your shoulders, indicating long hair – this is the sign for Jani.

Joy – see ‘Awe’ for example ‘new teatowels of Joy’ (we’re easily pleased)

Joe – (Sign language) Hold your foot up slightly and point at your toe. This is the sign for Joe (also known as ‘Young Joe).

HMT – Hippy Mean Time. This is what we run a great many of our events on. Hippy Mean Time means that a workshop which starts at 12.30pm may start at 12.37 or even 12.42. Luckily, Hippy Mean Time works both ways, and allows you to hang around after closing time for half an hour or so! Note – HMT does not apply to our opening times, as we don’t like to leave people in the cold with no tea.

HMW/M – Short for ‘High Maintenance Woman/Man’ – also sometimes comes out as ‘Hamaw’ or ‘Hamva’. Sometimes, people just expect a little too much of an arts venue. Perhaps an hour of one-to-one conversation about a workshop they probably will never come to, or all the raisins picked out of their rum and raisin cake, after which they’ll decide they can’t eat gluten/alcohol/sugar anyway, or will complain at length that we don’t have all three kinds of milk (skimmed, semi and full fat). Lucky for us, we have the best customers in town so we don’t get too many of these and when we do, we send them down the road to Starbucks!

-(Sign language) Hold your hands in front of you and pretend to type on a keyboard – this is the sign for Martin (our web designer).

Ruth – (Sign language) Hold one hand just below shoulder height, indicating a person who is shorter than you. This is the sign for Ruth (sorry Ruth!).

Vegan – as in “Is it vegan?” – yes, it usually is, unless it’s very obviously a piece of cheese in which case no! We’re very pleased to have lots and lots of vegan options and anything on our menu can be made vegan, with the sad exception of hot chocolate (we’re working on that one).

– the process of looking for useful things which others have thrown away, for re-use in The Art House. See: most of our furniture.

Wonder – See ‘Joy’ and ‘Awe’ for instance ‘New kettle of wonder’

About arthousesouthampton

The Art House is a not-for-profit café, gallery and arts venue in the centre of Southampton. We are a place you can meet new people, meet up with friends or just come in by yourself. Our licensed café offers delicious organic lunches, Fairtrade tea and homemade cake. We also have a busy programme of events, workshops, and art exhibitions, a clothing and crafts boutique and lots more. Most of our crew are volunteers and you might even want to apply to join them. Come along and enjoy our unique, community run space.
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