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Nadsat and Newspeak

Nadsat and Newspeak – Words for Wine

Are you self-isolating in Airstrip One, watching our dystopias unfold? Choose from climate emergency, the covid-19 pandemic, surveillance society, social media hate-crimes, fake news, or 1001 other worrisome issues (add your own here).  Our world can sometimes seem like it’s becoming a combination of two classic books: George Orwell’s 1984 and Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. That’s hardly a novel perspective (if you’ll pardon the pun). However, in each, Orwell and Burgess invent new languages; 1984 has Newspeak, while in A Clockwork Orange, it’s Nadsat.

Meanwhile, our “real” language is ill-equipped to describe many of the sensations, experiences, and flavours encountered in wine. So many tasting notes are pretentious or clichéd, egotistical, or merely repetitious. I include myself amongst the guilty, and a previous article about this subject featured an algorithm for creating instant tasting notes. Though we try to improve, sometimes it seems like they might as well be written in another language. So why not include words from Nadsat and Newspeak.

O my Brothers, here’s a little background to each of these languages as a reminder.


Nadsat is a vernacular language spoken by the teenage gang members in A Clockwork Orange, in particular by Alex, the narrator of the tale. It’s a hybrid mix of English, Russian, Cockney rhyming slang, and pure invention; all made up by Anthony Burgess. In the book, there are some two hundred Nadsat words. There’s a full glossary here.


For 1984, George Orwell created Newspeak. It’s the language of Oceania, a totalitarian superstate. Oceania contains Airstrip One (England), ruled by Big Brother and the Party. Newspeak is the official language, with simplified grammar. A much-reduced vocabulary controls individual thought and action. It’s for a post-truth surveillance world, where 2+2=5. There’s a dictionary here.

A first combined glossary

This glossary is a first attempt to introduce some Nadsat and Newspeak into a wine context. Appypolly loggy for any mistakes or omissions. Here are 50-odd words to spice up your jeezny.


Baddiwad                                   Bad

Big Brother                               Wine Critic

Chelloveck                                 MW

Cal                                              Farmyard smell

Choodessny                              Wonderful

Chocorat                                   Chocolate Ration

Crimethink                               Having your own opinion

Cutter, Pretty Polly, Deng      Money

Dobby                                        Good

Dorogoy                                    Expensive

Doubleplusgood                       Excellent

Doubleplusungood                  Do not put in the mouth (DNPIM)

Doublethink                             Holding two opposing views at the same time and believing both.

Duckspeak                                Tasting Note

Eggiweg                                    Hydrogen Sulphide

Facecrime                                 To give your thoughts away.


Glazzers                                    Eyes

Goobers                                    Lips

Gorlo                                         Throat

Grazhny                                   Earthy

Gruppa                                     Tasting Group

Horrorshow                            Great

Jammiwam                             Jammy

Jeezny                                      Life

Krovvy                                     Blood

Lewdies                                   People

Litso                                         Face

Lomtick                                   Slice, piece

Maslo                                       Buttery

Merzky                                     Filthy (as perhaps in Brettanomyces)

Morder                                     Nose

Nuking                                     Smelling, pleasantly scented aromas


Ownlife                                    To think for yourself

Peet                                          To drink

Pishcha                                    Food

Plott                                         Body

Prod                                         To make

Prolefeed                                 Wine magazines

Pyahnitsa                                To become drunk

Rot                                            Mouth

Rooker                                     Hand

Room 101                                A cellar for industrial wines

Skoliwoll                                 Wine School

Sladky                                      Sweet

Snoutie                                    Tobacco

Tass                                          Glass

The two-minute hate            Social Media

Unperson                                Me

Viddy                                       To see

Von                                          To smell

Yahzick                                   Tongue

Zoobies                                   Teeth

Some examples

Ok, droogs and lewdies, here’s a couple of wine tasting notes to get going.

  1. Viddy krovvy in tass. Vonnie eggiweg, cal and bigly merzky. Jammiwam fruit with final snoutie. Alcohol hot gorlo. Unpeet, never laydown Deng. Itty, Room 101!
  2. A golden delight for glazzers. Morder is nuking doubleplusgood. Bigly plott and double-Sladky balanced yahzick by choodessny maslo acidity. Worth dorogoy!

Are these examples more or less intelligible? I do doublethink so. Use bigly horrorshow doubleplusgood. Dobby luck!


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