April 21st, 2004

WotD: Lively discussion

We’ve a big takeover deal closing in our offices today. The sounds of lively debate can be heard ringing down the corridors. Therefore, for today’s WotD I’ve chosen …

(ahr-jee-BAHR-jee or ahr-ghee-BAHR-ghee)
• noun informal, chiefly Brit. noisy quarrelling, argument or lively debate.
— ORIGIN Scots, reduplication of argie, argumentt, from argue.

"Argy-bargy" and its slightly older variant "argle-bargle" have been a part of British English since the second half of the 19th century. "Argy" and "argle" evolved in certain English and Scottish dialects as variant forms of "argue." </b> "Bargy" </b>and "bargle" do not appear to be ‘real’ words independently … just made up to complete the rhymes.

Argy-bargy is also the name of the curry house in ‘EastEnders’ … a play on Onion Bargees, a favourite accompaniment to takeaway curries (Curry is de rigueur if you’ve been out on the tiles for a few Britneys … and was recently voted the nations favourite food!)

Suggested usage:Steve and Bill go into a bit of argy-bargy over the football results