Monday, 21 April 2008

The verb to doris

I first heard the name doris used as a verb when I moved to Scotland 20 years ago. It was explained to me that often the lady who comes to clean is called Doris, she arrives, the house gets cleaned and so evolved the verb, for example 'this house needs to be dorissed', 'I must get on with the dorissing' or 'I'll quickly doris round'. I'm not sure how accurate this account is but the verb soon became part of our vocabulary. I've since heard it in a Yorkshire context, here the air hostesses on Yorkshire Airlines are referred to as Air Dorises (I do love this film).
The funniest dorissing experience I ever had was when my nieces were little and were staying with us during their summer holiday. We'd taken them up north for a few days and were staying in a self catering cottage attached to a large hotel where we were able to take meals. On the second morning Emma, the youngest, didn't want to go over to the main building for breakfast and asked if she could stay in the cottage. I was a bit reluctant to leave her but told her to stay inside and not open the door. Half way through breakfast we sent her elder sister to check that she was OK, but when Kerry went into the cottage she couldn't find Emma. She came to the restaurant to tell us and I went back over with her and when we called for Emma she emerged from the bedroom. She said that when she heard someone letting themselves into the cottage she thought they had come to do the dorissing and so had jumped in the wardrobe to hide.

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