back to article Reg readers tumesce as they get their tongues round 'podule'

Our recent coverage of Brit adventurer Nick Hancock's thwarted attempt to land on the Atlantic islet of Rockall has demonstrated a growing reader penchant for the word "podule". Hancock had intended to spend 60 days atop the remote granite outcrop in a survival podule, and the mere mention of this splendid term prompted one …


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  1. 1Rafayal

    The Acorn A7000+ and RISC PC also used devices called podules.

    They were to provide a level of expansion to the system they were installed on. On my A7000+ I have a x86 CPU podule that allows me to run Windows on my machine, its quite novel as you get to run the OS in a window whilst RISC OS is running. I suppose like a sort of early VM?

    1. Frank Zuiderduin

      Not really virtual, is it? I mean, it's hardware.

      I used to have one for my Risc PC, but it was a second processor card, not a podule. And anything more recent than Windows 98 would run far too slow to be useable.

      1. 1Rafayal

        well, virtual insofar that there are CPU's available these days that provide virtualisation support, but I take your point.

        On the RISC PC I think you get two podule slots and yes, the one I mention above is a processor card. I think Acorn offered processor cards and podules in the same form factor, the port was the same for both.

        1. druck Silver badge

          Rocket ship

          The Risc PC had a modular case, you could have two podules on a basic machine with one slice , add an extra slice to get 4 podules, and a 4 slice machine could accommodate 8.

          Of course why stop there when you can build a ten slice Rocket Ship, complete with a pizza oven and kitchen sink!

          1. 1Rafayal

            Re: Rocket ship

            All this talk of RISC OS has made me depressed now, I just missed out on an Iyonix on Ebay for £255 the other day...

            1. David Given

              Re: Rocket ship

              You can run RISC OS on a Raspberry Pi. See the bottom of:


    2. Wilseus

      They were called podules on the original Archimedes machines, but Acorn deprecated the term in favour of "expansion cards" long before the Risc PC and A7000 came out.

      1. Jon Green
        Thumb Up

        They were called podules before Archimedes!

        Within Acorn, we used to use that name for expansion modules for the A500: the first-ever ARM desktop machine. It was an Acorn-only development machine, and featured a better spec than the subsequent Archimedes commercial models. (More about it at Chris Whytehead's site.)

        I don't know why Acorn deprecated the term "podule" - it was a fine word, and always got a smile - but then, I don't really understand a lot of the business decisions Acorn made at around that time.

  2. Ivor

    Translator podule

    Best pronounced a-la-Rowan Atkinson. Can't find a youtube link.. but Zak the alien had a translator podule that was malfunctioning.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Translator podule


  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Ivor


    Youtube link - Zak the Alien. From 1987

  5. Neoc

    ...of podules

    A rack...

    A propensity...

    A pustulence... (from "pustule", of course)

    A podument...

    A rash...

    1. harimanjaro

      Re: ...of podules

      A rash of podules... sheer poetry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...of podules

        No, no, no

        The author requested that we come up with suggestions about what a podule could be a collective term for.

        As in, "a podule of commentards"

        You have got it the wrong way round.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: ...of podules

          A podule of Playmonauts ?

          1. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: ...of podules

            A podule of podules?

            Can we get a grammar checker to self-destruct?

  6. jake Silver badge

    During the meanwhile ... has the wannabe twatdangler ...

    ... actually managed to ...err ... twatdangle? Or has his effort been worth Sweet Rockall?

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    Hmmm.... Woody!

    Podule definitely classifies as a woody word as opposed to tinny ( )

    As for a collective, how about ; A podule of politicians: A small group of politicians eliciting furtive behaviour.

    Hmmm Furtive, Podule.... woody!

    1. Euripides Pants Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm.... Woody!

      A podule of pedants

  8. harimanjaro

    Kenny Everett

    I first heard podule used on by Kenny Everett on his Capital Radio show in the late 70's - I think it was in the Captain Kremmen slot, unmissable listening in those days. It's been a favourite word of mine ever since.

    Amazing that I can remember a radio show from 25 years ago, but can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

    1. Magister

      Re: Kenny Everett

      "Amazing that I can remember a radio show from 25 years ago, but can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday"

      Sign of getting old my friend. (And it was more than 30 years ago - that's another 5 years that you've lost!)

      Last time that I heard the work "Podule" used before this was for the little self contained toilet / bathroom units that were being built into the rooms of some hotels (one of the ones at Birmingham - Ibis?)

      1. harimanjaro

        Re: Kenny Everett

        Yes, for 25 read 35 years. It's early, and I'm probably in denial about my age.

        I've dubbed the travel pods at Heathrow terminal 5 "podules". They missed a trick in naming those.

    2. Glenn Charles

      Re: Kenny Everett

      Um, Kenny--you didn't EAT lunch yesterday. That was the day with your girlfriend, remember?

  9. James Cullingham

    Rowan Atkinson/Zak the Alien

    He uses the word podule to refer to his translating device in this skit from the his live show in the late 80s. Of course, the word lends itself to his delivery.

    If you haven't seen it, it is highly recommended

  10. Parax

    Academic Disgrace.

    I've put in a complaint to the OED, absurd omission.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pavitra Bandham

    Ahem - 1971, not the 1996 film of the same name.

    I mean come on - I mainly read the Reg for it's accuracy on Telugu language films, how could you make such an error?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Pavitra Bandham

      Blast. That's our reputation as the premier source of Telugu language movie info blown out of the water. It's off to the Vulture Central punishment podule for me.

      1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        El Reg

        has a punishment podule! Well, they must be a well adjusted lot.

  12. hugo tyson

    Risc PC Podules

    IIRC it was Mike Muller who coined Podule for the expansion cards on the early ARM-based development machines. That would make it 1985 or 6, I think. Certainly it was after Rowan Atkinson's sketch at the time.

    1. Norm DePlume

      Re: Risc PC Podules

      I'm pretty sure it was also after someone else started using the term and you'll note that Acorn stopped using the word from the early nineties due to the threat of legal action. Thus the RiscPC does not have any 'podules'.

  13. Jason Togneri

    The IT angle? Good old RISC OS!

    RISC OS has used podules and modules in its systems for decades now. You add a hardware podule to the system (any expansion card, such as an IDE controller) which comes with a set of driver modules on a ROM chip on the card. When you insert the card into the machine and then power on, you get extra modules added to the main system ROM. You can enumerate listings of these from within RISC OS by going to the Supervisor and typing *modules, *rommodules, and *podules, as appropriate.

    Minus points to El Reg for not managing basic research into good old British computing.

  14. Andrew Moore Silver badge

    I first heard it... the little remembered film The Morons From Outer Space

    1. no-one in particular

      Re: I first heard it...

      But how can you forget that great song, "Podules of Love"?

      1. no-one in particular

        Re: I first heard it...

        Or even just in the singular "Podule of Love" (guess I was starting to forget it after all)

  15. smallfry


    Sad to see a missed opportunity for "Podule is a portmanteau"

    1. Mark 62

      Re: Melding?

      Props for promulgating portmanteau,

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Melding?

        That's it! A podule of portmanteaus!

  16. YeahRight

    I think I remember

    Rowen Atkinson using podule on Not The Nine O'clock News when giving a broadcast to the people of Earth as an alien

  17. sisk Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    A podule of pinheads

    Or, for a more positive angel, a podule of Paris fans.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A podule of pinheads

      Pessimistic angels really do my head in.

      1. Martin Budden

        Re: A podule of pinheads

        Weeping angels are terrifying.

  18. Sir Sham Cad

    A podule of

    Really small dolphins?


    Apple fanbois all in the same carriage on the London Eye?

  19. Liam Proven

    It wasn't just the RISC PC

    "Podule" was the officlal name for *all* the internal expanion cards for all the Acorn ARM machines, from the original Archimedes to the final Risc PC. As such, I've been using it since about 1987. I have an Ethernet podule in my A5000, for instance.

  20. Darryl

    Sorry, still sounds like an acne breakout to me

  21. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Adjectival form?

    So if something can be supplied as a podule, does that make it podular ?

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Adjectival form?

      If I change something non-podular into a podule, do I podulate it?

      1. Martin Budden

        Re: Adjectival form?

        (verbing weirds language)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Adjectival form?

        > If I change something non-podular into a podule, do I podulate it?

        Unless you're American, in which case you'll either podulify it, or possibly podularize it?

  22. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

    Lovely podule!

    Wife: I don't like podule!

    Man: Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your podule. I love it.

    I'm having podule podule podule podule podule podule podule beaked beans podule podule

    podule and podule!

    Vikings (singing): podule podule podule podule. Lovely podule! Wonderful podule!

    Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

    Man: Well could I have her podule instead of the baked beans then?

    Waitress: You mean podule podule podule podule podule podule... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

    Vikings (singing elaborately): podule podule podule podule. Lovely podule! Wonderful podule! podule podu-u-u-u-u-ule podule podu-u-u-u-u-ule podule. Lovely podule! Lovely podule! Lovely podule! Lovely podule! Lovely podule! podule podule podule podule!

  23. SirDigalot

    i grew up with


    They haven't affected my life much, now I use them to store the excess beer I drink like humps only more podule-ly

  24. VeganVegan


    a podule of poltroons, Polish or not.

  25. Mei Lewis

    I have a cat called Podule. He's awesome.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steven Fry said podule in his show with Hugh Laurie years ago. Said he lives in a podule. You could tweet him and ask.

  27. SiD The Shiv

    Podule, podule, who's got the podule...?

    How about a Podule of Pontiffs?

    On the other hand, if you had a lot of podules laying around, you might call that a Plethora of Podules?


  28. Willy Wonka

    in nomine podulum ...

    A plethora of podules.

    A podule longer than it is wide would be a phallopod; wider than long, a gynaepod. All podules which are circular are, of course, simply, by default, podules, in common usage; to the taxonomist: either unipods, circapods, or, hermaphropods.

    A cluster of podules in fixed position is a podorama. Wandering, solitary, podules are vagapods.

    in nomine podulum ...

  29. Anonymaus Cowark

    The village podule is not round. It has a cross form since it is a collection of houses at a crossing.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Podule musings ...

    A podule of perverts.

    A podule of Philistines.

    A podule of pints.

    A podule of prima donnas.

    It might be unfair to put "pints" in there.

  31. Marvin the Martian

    Love the "building church leaders" logo

    In the building trade it's frowned upon to install thing with large "this way up" arrows pointing down...

    Anyway, isn't a podule just a poodle with a shorter body and longer nose?

  32. cosymart


    Podule = A round of drinks and accompanying portions of chip buttys, esp at Friday lunch times. Viz; Go get the podule in, or Oy! it's your turn for the podule.

    What could be more El Reg and could easily be incorporated into The BOFH (The PFY reluctantly got in the next podule).

  33. Tim Roberts 1

    Dear Doc

    Dear Doc, please tell at med school

    did you learn of a rash of podule?

    Or did pustulant pods

    affect many bods?

    I'm sorry I must seem a fool.

  34. Big_Boomer

    It's an object

    Not a collection of objects. A Podule is a "Pod-like Module". So you could have a smattering of podules or a blister of podules but a podule of poodles is also a possibility,... if the poodles in question were contained in the podule. Why am I even commenting on this? God I need a holiday!

  35. Gartal

    Collective nouns

    How about a podule of pulchritude rather than a clusterfuck of catwalk models or an effervescence of poofs?

  36. promytius

    huh - there was a pod?

    I'm sorry, I saw Jane Fonda (Barbarella) and got distracted- what were you saying about pods of whales or something? Jane's hot!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: huh - there was a pod?

      Hanoi Jane ceased to be "hot" during the Vietnam War.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sexiest P-word

    According to British author Robert Rankin, the sexiest p-word to watch being pronounced is "plinth".

  38. mjones52

    podule as a collective noun

    First thing that came to mind was a podule of pustules. Aaaargh. Is there a good brain soap?

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