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Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word: 

SHIRTY

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You don't have to be a Downton Abbey Anglophile to admire words from British English: plonk, knackered, codswallop, gobsmacked, and the supremely contemptuous git, which is worthy to stand with the great Yiddish monosyllables.

Ben Yagoda's Not One-Off Britishisms catalogues a multitude of them.

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This week's word, shirty, meaning "ill-tempered," "angry," or "irritated," has been current since the mid-nineteenth century. The etymological conjecture is that it derives from expressions such as bet one's shirt and lose one's shirt, identifying the emotions consequent to those actions.

Example: From Angus, Thongs and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (2003): "He got all shirty like parents do as soon as you point out how stupid and useless they are."

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