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What we learned this week… about how Alex Ferguson’s bum deal is now in the dictionary

Sir Alex Ferguson in front of a new statue at Pittodrie. Photo: Craig Foy/SNS Group.
Sir Alex Ferguson in front of a new statue at Pittodrie. Photo: Craig Foy/SNS Group.

Giving lexicographers a bum deal

For many years, it was the period in a close sporting contest when players, managers and supporters alike felt the pressure as the clock ticked down and everybody knew one act of brilliance or buffoonery could decide the outcome.

Or, as Sir Alex Ferguson famously coined it: “squeaky bum time.”

The former Aberdeen and Manchester United gaffer couldn’t have realised when he first uttered these words that, one day, they would end up in the Oxford English Dictionary.

But that’s exactly what has happened after the OED discovered Ferguson first used the phrase in 2003 when his side were involved in a championship battle with Arsenal.

He said: “It’s getting tickly now – squeaky bum time, I call it. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks.” Now, two decades later, it is being preserved for, erm, posterity.

The official entry for “squeaky bum time” in the dictionary reads: “British colloquial (originally and chiefly in sporting contexts) a particularly tense period of time, esp. one leading up to the climax of a competition. The term was coined by Sir Alex Ferguson.”

It’s not at the top of his myriad achievements. But it’s not at the bottom either.

A fossilised reptile unearthed in Scotland lived during the age of the dinosaurs and was closely related to pterosaurs.

When high-fliers soared over Moray

Gulls have been the scourge of many communities across the north-east and their ability to spot a bacon roll at 50 metres has agitated the public from Elgin to Ellon.

Yet, while they can be a pesky inconvenience, just be thankful we’ve moved on from the days when giant dinosaurs roamed the skies over the region.

After all, a new study of a tiny Triassic fossil reptile first discovered over 100 years ago in Moray has revealed it is a close relative of the species that eventually evolved into pterosaurs – the iconic creatures which you may have witnessed in Jurassic Park.

Professor Sterling Nesbitt said: “Pterosaurs were the first vertebrates to evolve powered flight and for nearly two centuries, we did not know their closest relatives. Now we can start filling in their evolutionary history.”

It’s 60 years since the first Bond movie “Dr No” was released.

A premium Bond moment of peril

Sean Connery was shaken, not stirred, when he first arrived on cinema screens in Dr No 60 years ago this week. But his crew weren’t so fortunate when they shot scenes for From Russian with Love in the north of Scotland the following year.

It has emerged that while filming on location off the coast of Crinan in Argyll, a series of potentially lethal accidents befell the crew. During one of the boat pursuits, the fireball from the exploding gas canisters almost turned into a full-scale conflagration.

Then, director Terence Young nearly came to a sticky end in a helicopter as the venture suffered a genuine Skyfall. His craft crashed into the water and he was trapped with art director Michael White and a cameraman aboard the chopper.

Thankfully, for all concerned, it was No Time to Die.

Liz Truss made her first Tory conference speech as PM. Photo by Tom Bowles/Story Picture Agency/Shutterstock

Movin’ without checking the lyrics

Prime Minister Liz Truss used the 1990s M People hit Moving on Up as she walked on stage at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham.

But had the beleaguered Truss actually read the lyrics of the song? “You’ve done me wrong, your time is up, You took a sip from the devil’s cup, You broke my heart, there’s no way back, Move right out of here, baby, go on pack your bags.”

Not a ringing endorsement, is it?

Annie Lennox has attended the festival in the past. Photo by Sundholm Magnus/action press/Shutterstock.

Here comes the rain again

The newly-published diaries of the late Alan Rickman, star of such films as Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and the Harry Potter series, reveal he was an ardent admirer of the talent of Aberdeen’s Annie Lennox.

Describing her as “one of the great voices”, Rickman also detected a note of melancholy in the Scot’s attitude to life and scribed in 2006: “Annie is a delightful soul with a strong strain of it’ll all turn out for the worst…”

Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin has been in trouble with the beaks at the SFA.

A game of two acronyms

Dons manager Jim Goodwin has been slapped with a hefty eight-match ban by the SFA after he described Hibs player Ryan Porteous as a “blatant cheat”.

The news provoked an angry response from many Pittodrie faithful.

One of the more printable responses came from fan Lewis Michie, who said: “SFA? Yes, it stands for Strathclyde Football Association.”