Researchers at the Oxford English Dictionary have revealed that the list of phrases classed as Double Entendres is getting bigger.
"Last year's list was big," said Richard Small, research co-ordinator at the OED. "But compared to this year's, it was just a tiddler."
So what has been swelling the phrases of double meaning? Well, the main source has been Julian Clary, who's act of innuendo and euphemism has entered into the public vernacular, turning the average person on to the possibilities of veiled speech.
"They just keep coming," Small gushed. "Only yesterday we were giggling when Heather Bush told us that she'd taken a gardener round to her rear entry to see the growth there."
The OED's 2009 edition is well under way, and the researchers won't hold back, and will cram in as much semantics as they can, even slipping them into the standard definitions for cream, sausage and snatch.
Coming up with terse definitions can get quite hard, and is a sore point with Small. "Whenever we start, stuff just spills out," he spurted. "We cannot contain ourselves. And it seems everybody is the same. Whenever we ask for a definition, somebody gives us a long one."
It is usual in the OED to give examples, and for Double Entendre, they have stuck in a beauty; a quote from Harry Carpenter in the 1977 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race: "Ah, isn't that nice. The wife of the Cambridge President is kissing the Cox of the Oxford crew".