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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Partridge +‎ -an. From the fictional character Alan Partridge, a self-obsessed radio DJ.


Partridgean (comparative more Partridgean, superlative most Partridgean)

  1. (Britain, Ireland) Self-important but bathetic; unable to distinguish the meaningful from the trivial and therefore prone to absurdity.
    • 2009 October 14, Richard Kurt, “Fergie frenzy hides the faults”, in Irish Examiner[1]:
      Speaking of glaring faults, howsabout Rio Ferdinand’s for starters? This, at least, is one properly footballing ‘Hot Topic’ the Partridgean hacks have managed to find room for, though I note it took him cocking up in an England shirt for them to do so.
    • 2011 August 1, Elizabeth Mahoney, “Radio Review: The Queen of Soul: the Legend of Aretha”, in The Guardian[2]:
      Paul Sexton, presenting The Queen of Soul: the Legend of Aretha (Radio 2), had a bouncy introduction that bordered on the Partridgean. Over two nights, he explained, the programmes would explore Franklin's move "from the church to the charts". They would, he added, "say RESPECT to a true original".
    • 2012 December 7, Tom Sutcliffe, “Television review: A Young Doctor's Notebook - Daniel Radcliffe is innocent and Jon Hamm is knowing in this hamfisted show”, in The Independent[3]:
      He was less revolted by squatting by the end of the film, but for most viewers the unintentional Partridgean comedy would have been the best reason for watching. “You can’t film me pissing,” he said indignantly to the camera crew when using the facilities in one squat.“You can listen.”
    • 2013 May 7, Jack Seale, “Tony Blackburn's Alan Partridge-style memoir gains cult status on Twitter”, in Radio Times[4]:
      Forde proved his point across the Bank Holiday weekend, tweeting snaps of such Partridgean gems as Blackburn's clarfication that his son Simon was NOT named after Simon Bates.
    • 2013 July 26, Barry Glendenning, “How Sunderland's Paolo Di Canio is reviving the pre-season pain principle”, in The Guardian[5]:
      Well, it's wet and it's miserable on the day that Leicester City's footballers have been dreading for weeks, for this is the day that they have to tackle this: "The Hill," intones a somewhat Partridgean local TV news reporter in the early 1980s, on an old clip of the players in question embarking on their pre-season training. The camera promptly pulls back to reveal our man on the spot in a decidedly elevated position; the "this" in question is one of three giant mountains of muck and rubble on a patch of waste ground.
    • 2013 August 8, Marina Hyde, “Is it Dynasty or the BBC weather centre? It's sometimes hard to tell”, in The Guardian[6]:
      And so to the meat of You Have Wives?, whose Partridgean dedication page reads: "Written at the Villa Francia, Lanzarote, Canaries. The authors would like to thank Villa Plus for helping with the difficult internet connections."

Etymology 2[edit]

Partridge +‎ -an. From the lexicographer Eric Partridge.


Partridgean (comparative more Partridgean, superlative most Partridgean)

  1. (derogatory) (Of lexicographical work) in the manner or style of lexicographer Eric Partridge.
    • 1982 March 1, Robert Burchfield, “Opening Words: Review of The Macquarie Dictionary”, in The Age, Melbourne, page 11:
      A Partridgean colorfulness is allowed to creep into the etymologies [...] where severer counsel falls back on "etym. uncertain" or "etym. unknown".
    • 1992, David L. Gold, P. Harteveld, editor, Lexicos II, Stellebosch: Buro van die Wat, page 125:
      The fourth edition of A Dictionary of South African English [...] is, however, Partridgean in its arbitrary use of fonts, punctuation, and capitalization, in its placement of material, and in its not infrequent self-contradictions.
    • 2014, James Lambert, Julie Coleman, editor, Global English Slang: Methodologies and Perspectives, London: Routledge, page 133:
      Richter (2006: 57) suggests that it is a clipping of the English word po(rnograhpy) to which the suffix -ndy (as in ‘trendy’, ‘handy’, etc.) has been added: a Partridgean etymology at best.