Balderdash and Piffle
is a British television
programme made by Takeaway Media for the BBC
. Presented by Victoria Coren
, it is a companion to the Oxford English Dictionary
, in which the writers of the dictionary asked the public for help in finding the origins and first known citations of a number of words and phrases.
The OED panel consists of John Simpson, the Chief Editor of the OED; Peter Gilliver, who was also the captain of the Oxford University Press team in University Challenge - the Professionals; and Tania Styles, who has also appeared in "dictionary corner" in Countdown.
The first series of Balderdash & Piffle
was first broadcast in January 2006
, with each programme being based around a letter. Following the conclusion of the first series, a follow-up episode aired on 16 April 2006
with updates on the discoveries members of the public have made, resulting in several further changes to the dictionary.
A new Wordhunt
was launched in January 2007
and the results feature in the second series of the programme which began on Friday 11th May at 10pm on BBC Two.
The second series is divided thematically. Victoria Coren is joined by guest reporters who attempt to trace the etymology and first documentary use of words, based on suggestions from the British public. Victoria Coren then takes the evidence they have found to a panel of Oxford English Dictionary staff, who decide whether this evidence is sufficient to include in the dictionary.
Balderdash and Piffle is also the name given to two books written by Alex Games
. The first, titled Balderdash and Piffle
was published by BBC Books
. A second book, also by Alex Games and published by BBC Books, is titled Balderdash and Piffle: One sandwich short of a dog's dinner
and accompanies the second series of the show.
The two books explore the origins of a number of words in the English language, including randy, shampoo and bouncy castle.