This is something I’ve wondered about for a while.

There’s a wonderful Young Ones book called Bachelor Boys, which is hilarious (and one of the best TV tie-in books I’ve ever read). One of the best bits in it is called Let’s Swear!. As Rik himself notes, “I have therefore devised an easy to follow step-by-step guide to help even the biggest nerdy-nose (see how I slip them in?) look street and cool”.There are three stages. Stage one is just knowing some rude words: Bum, bits, boob, Thatcher, etc. Stage two is “THE DOUBLE”: Poo-hole, toilet-trousers, snot-face, That-cher, etc. And stage three is “the Armageddon of Swearing”. And amongst such classics as “Hey, twat off before I do a jobbie on your Heseltine!” and “Oi dribbly cheeks stop farting or I’ll give you a bum-wipe to remember!” is the following:

“Are you looking for a punch in the poo-hole Smeg-face?”

Now, I was under the illusion that Rob and Doug invented the word smeg. Red Dwarf didn’t shoot until 1987, and air until 1988 – Bachelor Boys was published in 1984.

So, did our boys not invent smeg, and it was an existing, not-very-widely-used term? Or can they plead parallel-deveopment? Or does the face that the Red Dwarf pilot script was written in 1983, and that The Young Ones was produced by Paul Jackson have anything to do with it?


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