Friday 9 September 2011

Planks and Planking

Calling someone ‘a plank’ is not complimentary. I suppose it’s a contraction of ‘as thick as two short planks’, the derivation of which can be found here.

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable states, “As thick as two short planks. Very obtuse. Two short planks laid together are twice as thick as one long one.”

Siblings are wont to call each other planks in a jocular way. Some of my grandchildren have taken to imitating planks and enjoy planking all over the place. The images are rather blurred, I'm afraid. Perhaps the person taking the photos was laughing too hard!! 
Kiri and Callum planking on the London Eye
Callum planks on a car
Kiri planks on a gangplank
Callum planking in wet weather gear - appropriate for washing machines!
Kiri planks on the furled sail

Planking is sometimes called the ‘lying down game’ and is fun when practised safely.

I think it has given rise to a new form or social interaction:-

“Do you plank here often?”

“Shall we plank?”

“I’ll plank if you will.”

“I want to plank with you forever.”

Perhaps there will be new ditties! This one, to be sung to the tune of ‘Are you lonesome tonight?’ could be a hit!

“Are you planking tonight?
Do you miss me tonight?
Are you glad that we planked so much time?
Do you sometimes recall that you once made me fall
From the wall that I planked on in slime?
Are the places we planked still attractive and fair,
Do you wish we could plank ourselves over some chairs?
Are you looking for fun, shall I be the one,
Darling, please, are you planking tonight?”

There will be variations, of course.

“Be my little chipboard and I‘ll be your nail.”

“Two by four and four by two – we’re made for each other.”

“You’re a splinter in my heart and you hurt me so.”

“He’s as false as a laminate board.”

“They’ve been floorboarded – the bank won’t make them a loan.”

“He’s fibreglass – light, smart, hasn’t got the values of the old hearts of oak.”
You can plank anywhere!
I don’t think I’ll go planking! 


  1. Another whole new verb. Who knew?
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. Love the ones on the London Eye!!!!!!

    I have a picture of me planking on a rock on the edge of the grand canyon. It was totally safe, but the angle of the photo doesn't make it look that way. I consider it one of my most epic pictures of myself.

  3. Funny post, but, err, don't think I'll go planking any say soon. :-D

  4. Hmm, I must be missing something. I can't quite understand the attraction of planking. Perhaps it's because I came of age in the sixties and when we did this sort of thing (as a group) it was considered a form of protest.

  5. How funny! Our grandson has some FB pics of himself planking across the bathroom and in the airport between the seats. I don't know how they keep themselves up when they are not laying on anything.


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