Dimwell

English translation: a well of limited intelligence ...

08:40 Aug 23, 2018
English language (monolingual) [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Names (personal, company)
English term or phrase: Dimwell
Dimwell Arrhythmic Rhyming Slang: Various rhyming slangs are known, and have given the universe such terms as ‘apples and pears’ (stairs), ‘rubbity-dub’ (pub) and ‘busy bee’ (General Theory of Relativity). The Dimwell Street rhyming slang is probably unique in that it does not, in fact, rhyme. No one knows why, but theories so far advanced are 1) that it is quite complex and in fact follows hidden rules or 2) *Dimwell* is well named or 3) it’s made up to annoy strangers, which is the case with most such slangs.
--quoted from Going Postal (2004, fantasy fiction) by Terry Pratchett (link: https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=“Dimwell is well nam...

This is a footnote made by the Author, which made fun of Cockney Rhyming Slang with his fictional "Dimwell Arrhythmic Rhyming Slang".
For example, in the main text, "wig" is called as "syrup of prunes" (Dimwell Arrhythmic Rhyming Slang) instead of "syrup of figs" (Cockney Rhyming Slang).
My question lies in theory No. 2 "Dimwell is well named". Does it say "Dimwell" (the name of a district) means literally "dim well" (make things much dim, so be good at creating Arrhythmic Slang)? Is there any further implication?
Thank you!
updownK
China
Local time: 03:20
Selected answer:a well of limited intelligence ...
Explanation:
Tony has already dealt with "dim" (not very bright). The "well" part of the name can mean two things and was probably intended to carry both meanings:

1. A well from which one can draw an endless supply of dimwits;
2. An inversion of "well dim", where "well" is an intensifier giving the meaning "very dim".
Selected response from:

B D Finch
France
Local time: 21:20
Grading comment
Thank you for your detailed explanation!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
4 +3a well of limited intelligence ...
B D Finch
4 +1dim = stupid / not very intelligent
Tony M


  

Answers


42 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
dimwell
a well of limited intelligence ...


Explanation:
Tony has already dealt with "dim" (not very bright). The "well" part of the name can mean two things and was probably intended to carry both meanings:

1. A well from which one can draw an endless supply of dimwits;
2. An inversion of "well dim", where "well" is an intensifier giving the meaning "very dim".

B D Finch
France
Local time: 21:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
Thank you for your detailed explanation!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  GILOU
1 hr
  -> Thanks Gilou

agree  Tony M: I suspect your #2 is possibly a little too modern to have crept into Mr Pratchett's work. But definitely an inexhaustible and un-plumbable supply of dimness
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Tony. "Well" as an intensifier has been around for at least the last 30 years and Terry Pratchett lived (at least part-time) in inner London, so I don't think it's too modern for him to have used.

agree  Charles Davis: The Spanish translator put "que Dimwell es ciertamente un pozo de bobos" (that Dimwell is indeed a well of fools/idiots"). Which proves nothing, of course, but it's interesting, and the translator, Javier Calvo, is a good novelist and an Anglophile.
2 hrs
  -> Thanks Charles. Interesting.
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23 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
dimwell
dim = stupid / not very intelligent


Explanation:
I feel sure Mr Pratchett was suggesting that 'Dimwell Street' might be an area of not very bright people — i.e. they invented a rhyming slang that wasn't actually right.

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Note added at 3 hrs (2018-08-23 12:02:39 GMT)
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Cf. other expressions like 'dim-witted' — presumably referring to a lamp etc. that is "not very bright"

Tony M
France
Local time: 21:20
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Tony!


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  philgoddard
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phil!
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