The Law of the Playground
the letter n
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We had all been told that we had to be careful around Nigel. He wasn't allowed to eat chocolate, or drink delicious fizzy pops. Earwax was OK - he'd shovel that stuff straight in. He didn't eat bogeys, though - he stored those in his pencil case.

One morning our teacher walked in ashen faced and quietly explained that Nigel would not be coming to school any more. He had moved a long way away.

Our bewildered but trauma-free response clearly wasn't enough for her, as she let out the cry "Nigel is DEAD!".

Unable to process this early brush with mortality as a tragedy, we'd simply echo her heartfelt outburst in the playground, to punctuate a wide range of antics. In some cases, this would continue well into our twenties.

Nigel is still dead.
approved Oct 31 2011, submitted Oct 25 2011 by Guernsey Gwappard
Nimin made his mark on the first day of school by throwing a stone at a seagull, breaking its wing and sending it spiralling to Earth. It's the kind of achievement you should save for the last day of the fifth year - young minds are not ready for the celebrity status gained from crippling a seagull.
Poor Nimin knew he could never surpass this feat, and fell in with a bad crowd. With his new friend, a boy who was left with metal / no teeth after a rugby accident, he soon resorted to snorting Coffee-Mate through biro casings.
People would walk past the table at which Nimin and his bond-villain friend would sit, snorting and regurgitating Coffee-Mate.
"Who's that?" one boy would ask.
"That's Nimin," another boy would reply. "And a boy with no / metal teeth."
"Nimin? The guy who crippled a Seagull?"
"That Nimin died long ago. Just keep walking."
approved Jul 12 2004, submitted Mar 22 2004 by Name Withheld
A statistic which tore through the school at an alarming rate, representing the average volume of saliva present in the final dregs of a drink. It was the unusual precision of the number which led to its universal acceptance. A natural logical leap stipulated that any drink which was under half full was up to 97% owner spittle. Only the first sip was safe if you didn't want to French Kiss all the previous sippers.
If you wanted to upgrade the statistic yourself, you could do so by saying "they've just found out..." before giving your new figures.
approved Sep 13 2005, submitted Jul 4 2005 by moped .
An exciting name for something rather lame. Two 2p coins wrapped in rolls of paper caps and sellotape, which was thrown at any hard surface to cause a moderately loud bang. The use of these primitive pyrotechnics eventually led to the exciting games of "Spray the aerosol can at the flaming pile of lavatory paper" and in my case "Use the air bomb to explode giant size lemons in Fung Tang's back garden".
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Rob Waters
A playful, yet painful, pinch and twist motion on the nipple. aka tit-nip.
approved Dec 10 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
Amusing extension of the nipple gripple that often got out of hand. On a quiet and rainy lunchtime one boy (usually school delinquant Oliver) would nipple cripple another boy until they gave up and agreed to join the patrol. They would then go and find another boy and nipple gripple him until he also "joined the patrol". This would go on until there was a stupidly large group of boys (often more than thirty) and new boys were becoming increasingly difficult to find. Girls were obviously taboo, because we thought their nipples might come off, and bottles of milk would fall out. We usually stopped when the group was so large that we actually made some poor youth's nipples bleed. Which invariably happened.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Mike
Desperate pleas that "nits only live in really clean hair" will never be believed. The nurse only told you that to make you feel better. In reality, you even revolted the nurse.
approved Sep 24 2003, submitted Aug 8 2003 by Conor Franklin
No one is quite sure what privileges are gained from membership of Nixon's Sex Club - but the way to join is simple. You just have to have had sex, with a girl.

Nixon's Sex Club has a pretty impressive membership roster, considering that Nixon - and everyone in his club - were eight years old.
approved Aug 11 2006, submitted Aug 3 2006 by Jim Clack
The unfortunately named Noel Licence was born to be given stick. In the middle of any activity whatsoever, someone would stop him, and say "you've got Noel Licence to do that".
  • 1st Year : Good-natured laughing along.
  • 2nd Year : Laughter stopped, joke wearily acknowledged with eyes rolled.
  • 3rd Year : Signs of frustration started appearing, some sarcastic laughter.
  • 4th Year : Verbal retaliations favoured over faux-laughter.
  • 5th Year : Physical development finally allowed for frequent violent reactions.

It was the ever-changing reactions which kept the game going - that and the fact he was fat and useless.
approved Jul 8 2004, submitted Apr 15 2004 by Sanchez Medarlin
During some extra-curricular activities in summer time, all primary school students were required to come to class wearing a T-shirt bearing some sort of popular character. Why? I forget.
Most people wore a Loadsamoney T-shirt or a Fido Dido T-shirt or some such, but I - coming from the most socially repressed family in South East Anglia - didn't have any t-shirts with 'popular characters' on.
After at least half an hour digging through various closets, we found the closest thing possible - a T-shirt bearing a picture of the Halifax Building Society Cat.
While I like to think I was championing the cause of Naomi Klein's seminal book 'No Logo', I was actually championing the cause of low rate mortgages with 17.9% APR.
approved Oct 8 2004, submitted Jan 9 2004 by Alistair Gray
This taunt can be used against a teacher in the following circumstances;
a) You are in a school which teaches Classics.
b) Your classics teacher has recently crashed the school minibus.
c) Part of your lesson involves delining Latin verbs on the blackboard. In particular nomen, the final form of which is nominibus.
Oh, fuck it. This isn't really worth it.
approved Oct 5 2004, submitted Jan 18 2004 by Craig Hudson
For some reason, this is a very funny thing to say when you and your friends are on acid, and logic slips vaguely back into place for a moment. This isn't a playground thing, it's just something I wanted to share. If it encourages children to take acid, all the better. Anybody got any spare acid?
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
What isn't so funny is the somewhat smarmy reply of "Keep shovelling, Watson" which tends to bring things back down to Earth with a bump.
approved Mar 1 2003, submitted Feb 11 2003 by Nick Hunt
Misunderstanding the concept of No Uniform Day, Graham McKillop arrived at school in a Lemming costume, complete with green hair. Good publicity for Psygnosis; bad, BAD publicity for Graham McKillop.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Paul Equinox Collins
Class spacker David Howell turned up to non-uniform day dressed as a cowboy.

Oddly, when we saw his little dejected face drop as he realised his mistake, our vicious hearts melted. We spent the rest of the day trying to pretend that a cowboy costume was the height of fashion, to reduce the risk of poor David being tormented by other pupils. It was a genuine moment of altruism towards someone less fortunate than ourselves.

Even now, just talking about it makes me feel sick.
approved Aug 11 2005, submitted Aug 9 2005 by Gotty Gotty
An all-purpose phrase, as long as the purpose is to stop Richard talking, responding to an insult, kicking a ball, sitting near you, or otherwise having any dealings with the world around him.
Best said in an exhausted and really loud voice, so everyone turns around to see what it was that Richard was trying this time.
After some months of such training, Richard will automatically not try it, and require only a raised finger and eyebrow to shut him up, if a look of hopeful interaction flickers across his face, or any sounds start to come out of his mouth.
approved Nov 16 2004, submitted Nov 14 2004 by jon james
We had a history teacher who wrote copious notes on the blackboard. It became a test of courage to wait until he was in the middle of writing and stand up and whip out your knob. Whoever dared to leave it out the longest, risking him turning around and catching you, was the Knob-King of the week. Once, a particularly unpopular boy, trying to ingratiate himself with the in-crowd, whipped out his knob during the lesson and the boy behind him yanked his trousers and pants down and shouted 'KNOB!' Of course, the teacher turned around and caught him. He was sent home and his parents had to come in and see the headmaster.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Bob Rogers
A thick and glutinous ejaculation, which is slightly yellow in colour, and alcoholic. Coined after an English lesson demonstration of how to make Egg-Nog, which was all very exciting because we had booze in the classroom. We were allowed to have tiny sips and pretend to be drunk.
approved Dec 16 2004, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
Nobby Hall is a standard bus song, sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it...".
His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall,
His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall,
His name was Nobby Hall, and he only had one... fiiiing-EEER!
His name was Nobby Hall, Nobby Hall.
Now you've got the general idea, we can mercifully whip through the other verses.
  • He went to rob a bank, and he stopped to have a sandwich.
  • The police began a hunt, and they caught the stupid man.
  • The police caught him quick, and they caught him by his elbow.
  • The judge's name was Annie, and she had a hairy head.
  • The lawyer's name was Chuck, and he was a lousy rascal.
  • They sent him off to Venus, and he landed on his head.
  • He landed in a pit, and the pit was full of moss.
After which, if you're all still singing, you can round off with the first verse.
There are two ways of spicing it up. The first version, for wet ladies, include singing with the proper sweary words in, but very quietly, so that everyone goes "tee hee". For the bolder performers, you can sing the whole thing "inverted". An inverted verse would go;
She had a hairy fanny, hairy fanny,
She had a hairy fanny, hairy fanny,
She had a hairy fanny,
and the judge's name was... Annie,
She had a hairy fanny, hairy fanny.
It's important to keep the pause, as though you are going to say something rude, but don't. Just like the original.
This version would drop the jaws of younger children, which is what it's all about, really.
approved Oct 5 2005, submitted Feb 21 2004 by Synthia Spiderleg
A non-alcoholic attack where you punch your victim from both sides, in either kidney.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Jon Blyth
We had a G.C.S.E. Physics teacher called Mr Fennell. He was an arse to begin with, but any teacher whose first name is Norman deserves everything he gets.nnNorm used to have whole lists of sayings, like when he demonstrated action and reaction using a trolley on a spring he would pull the spring tight saying "I'm no fool, I've played this game before". Or when holding a hot jar, "Ooh, Mucho Hotto". Bad enough as it stands, but only augmented by the fact that he was an inveterate pipe smoker, and would always, without fail, set us some crappy task and disappear across the corridor to the Prep Room to have a quick puff.nnThis led our hardy little band of Physicists to form the "Happy Norm Appreciation Society", so called because he was a miserable fucker whom we all hated. Such papers existed within the society as 'Teaching from the Prep Room', 'The Role of the Pipe in Teaching' and 'Why am I such a twat, my name is Norm' Hit songs included Aspects of Norm, The Phantom of the Opera's Lighting System, CapAciTorS and the list goes on.nnYes, we were sad, but my God the look on his face on our last day when we presented him with the collected papers of The Normers was worth every pubescent moment. And all this informed my own short lived teaching career in Manchester: I decided maybe I wasn't quite in the right mould when one lunchtime I discovered I had the same nicknames for my colleagues as the kids did.nnLike Mr Henderson, who is bald. Clearly, Hendyslap. No question. This is the same Hendyslap who strode into the main staff room, irritated by the mess of coffee granules on the side, proclaiming, "Would the member of staff who has Palsy please refrain from making coffee". Oops.
approved Nov 24 2002, submitted Nov 24 2002 by Ian Dogherty
Norman McCaig was a scottish poet who so impressed us with his poetry and name that we rechristened him Nurmin MacQuaggey and recorded his adventures in cartoon form as the Norman McCaig Saga.
This three-part epic featured Norman meeting someone and saying "I am the poet McCaig", before receiving pieces of sage advice.
His three oracles were a man with a large hammer, Yoda and the Jewish Cheese Man. Jewish Cheese Man regularly appeared in our workbook defacing, and had a book of Norman's poetry hidden in his large cossack-style hat.
approved Apr 16 2005, submitted Nov 28 2003 by anonymous user