Regional dialect can sometimes bamboozle people not in the know.
But the official Hansard reporters at the House of Commons can’t let an unknown word go unchecked.
That’s why Livingston MP Hannah Bardell was tasked with explaining the word “fankle”. Perhaps she had said or meant “tangle?”
She shared the official urgent request for clarification on social media – and her response, proudly explaining that “fankle” was a Scottish verb meaning entangled.
Bardell dropped into a stronger regional voice when she wrote on Twitter: “When you describe the UK Government as being in a ‘fankle’ and the official recorder of the House of Commons (Hansard) dinnae ken whit yer saying….. so they send you a note….. and you get to explain! #hansard #houseofcommons #scotslanguage.”
But it’s not the first time the word has come up within Hansard.
A search of the official register returns seven results – five in the House of Commons and twice in the House of Lords – both by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock.
As for the five mentions in the Commons…
1. Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) – April 12, 2016
4. Anne McLaughlin (Glasgow North East 2015-2017) – November 29, 2016