‘Gurt lush‘ is a wonderful, all-purpose Somerset expression of extreme approval. Meaning, roughly speaking, ‘Absolutely delicious,’ or – in the case of toothsome men, ‘Utterly, gusset-crinklingly gorgeous!’ – this saying causes jaw-dropping blank incomprehension amongst those not privy to the Zummerset dialect, though not, perhaps, as much confusion, scorn and downright horror as that produced by one’s first introduction to the Bristolian Superfluous ‘L’…
Those dear linguistic innocents, coming up against a casual ‘gurt lush‘, tend to assume it’s a name and a, ‘Who’s she, then?’ response is not uncommon. When muttered about a sexy bloke – as in, ‘Oooh, he’m gurt lush!’ – the plot thickens and a whole realm of cross-dressing enters the fray, as the listener assumes, understandably, that ‘gurt lush‘ is rural dialect for one who dons his mother’s clothing at the drop of a girdle, and, given the other meaning of the word ‘lush’, is probably a rampant alcoholic to boot!
Just don’t get me started on the Bristolian ‘L’, however – as I will almost certainly fall about in unmannerly, probably insensitive, paroxysms of mirth, and that would not be a good ideal.
Back to ‘lush’ and its ‘gurt‘ adverbial accompaniment, I use the phrase whenever I think I can get away with it. Cream meringues, bursting with succulent nipples of fresh raspberry, inevitably get the ‘gurt lush’ treatment; pampering treatment, especially when delivered by a toned hunk (age not important!), also receives this veritable epitome of accolades. Any bloke who’s good looking may well start with a quick blush, drawing in of breath and, ‘Ooh, lush!’ – but, if he comes under the more specialised heading of ‘Sex on legs’ will merit a swooning disarray about the person, a tendency to pant and/or swoon and a fluting yodel of, ‘Ooh, you’m gurt gurt lush!’
In the arboreal sense, the expression doesn’t have quite the same bite: Calling a particularly luscious garden ‘gurt lush’ seems rather cheeky somehow, a little bit infra dig, not quite cricket! On the other hand, if said bosky dell, with its buds bursting all over the shop and its plants sending out sexy tendrils left right and centre, is combined with an al fresco romp involving a pert-buttocked young stallion, well, who am I to gainsay a triumphant yell, at the point of no return, which includes, ‘Gurt lush!’ in its incoherent stream?!