Sunday Tittle Tattle: How It Used To Be

ruth crilly

Oooh, this is nostalgic: a Sunday Tittle Tattle the way it used to be. The way that nature intended. Or at least the way that intended! Do you remember when the Tittle Tattle was made up of little morsels of unrelated information? Sort of like a notice board? I moved away from it because I thought that people preferred long, in-depth posts, but in these grim days of political uncertainty and crap weather, perhaps a return to brief, lighthearted titbits might be welcomed.

Where on earth did the word titbits come from? I always feel slightly mortified when adults say it out loud to me in real life. Tit bits. Obviously it doesn’t happen often – it’s not like people come up to me randomly and scream “titbits!” in my face; they don’t creep up behind me in a queue and whisper “titbits” into my earhole. I’m not a titbits magnet.

But every now and again, someone will say it and it just sounds so dirty, but in a cringey, Carry On sort of way. Tit bits. A quick Google tells me that originally the word would have been tidbit, not titbit – who the hell thought that changing tid to tit was a great idea?

It sounds like the sort of thing my iPhone would do. In the past week, it has changed two perfectly good, reasonably pedestrian sentences into things that could potentially spark legal action. “I would like to open an account” was changed – inexplicably – to “I would like to open an a c**t”; “I attach my VAT receipts” became “I attach my vag receipts”. I don’t think I’ve ever typed the word vag in my life. And now twice in one day – ticking off those goals.

I’ve set up an Instagram account for my interiors pictures, in case you’re interested in nosing about my home or seeing what inspires me when I’m decorating. It’s an informal mix of disjointed house tour and ideas scrapbook and I actually first set it up as a private account so that I could just post things willy-nilly (that’s another phrase that makes me cringe when people say it out loud!); wallpaper samples and vintage coffee tables and photos of old country houses.

You can follow @casacrilly on Instagram here – if you’d like to browse through previous interiors posts on A Model Recommends then they are here.

I’m going to dissect this issue in more detail at a later date, but can we just briefly talk about this: people in yoga/pilates classes who insist on doing that really noisy out-breath? As though they’re being breathalised or blowing out the world’s biggest birthday candle? I’m new to yoga-stroke-pilates but already that’s the one thing that really gets my goat.

Just because you’re told to exhale doesn’t mean that you have to make a show of it – yes, Imogen, we all have lungs but the rest of us are just concentrating on being normal. We don’t have time to worry about showing everyone else how good we are at breathing in and out. You’re not any more zen than anyone else because you make more noise than an emphysemic giraffe, you’re just irritating. Rest of rant postponed until next week, but I welcome your thoughts in the meantime.

By the way, the photo for this post was chosen by Angelica, three-going-on-thirty, who is all of a sudden very opinionated about these sorts of things. She liked the yellow in it, and as spring has sprung I thought that was a good enough reason to choose a photo as any other. It was actually taken a couple of months ago but that particular bundle of photos went in the imagery sin bin because the focus was soft. I do like a trawl through the imagery sin bin when I haven’t been organised enough to do a picture in advance…

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  1. April 11, 2019 / 3:36 pm

    I think titbits is British, I have always heard tidbits in America, but then we are prudes, we probably changed it! ;-) I always enjoyed Sunday Tittle Tattle, hope you continue (back) on with it. I haven’t been to a yoga class in a while but I agree performative breathers are the worst, they also tend to be the most smugly bendy types in my experience ;-0. Angelica has a good eye, hope to see more of her editorial content in future! :-)

    • April 12, 2019 / 9:42 am

      Hahah, she’ll want paying next xx

  2. Anne
    April 10, 2019 / 9:47 am

    On the loud breathing, I can hardly believe I’m typing this, but I think it’s a thing that some yoga teachers teach. I can’t recall the technical term but it’s actually a yoga thing. I know my teacher had us doing it but fortunately seems a little less obsessed with it and hadn’t mentioned it for a while! It’s a guttural thing……tongue raised at the back of the mouth to create a sound a bit like the Scots/Irish “loCH”.

  3. Victoria Mottram
    April 8, 2019 / 5:35 pm

    There’s a man at my yoga class who does these enormous rushing out breaths somewhere on the spectrum between “excited labrador” and “pervy telephone heavy breather”. I have to move if he sits anywhere near me. It makes me feel queasy

  4. Sandie
    April 8, 2019 / 4:06 pm

    Totally agree Ruth, there is deep breathing and then there is OTT deep breathing which disrupts the whole vibe in the room! Loving the yellow (hello Spring!) dress and gold jewellery combo, good choice Angelica!

  5. April 8, 2019 / 3:43 pm

    The really noisy yoga breather gets me so annoyed too, there was one woman doing it in my pregnancy yoga class last year, there’s always one! It’s such a show off way of breathing, surely you don’t have to make a huge racket out or being relaxed, there’s an art to being a silent breather I believe.

  6. Julia
    April 8, 2019 / 12:39 pm

    You’re suffering from the resistance period syndrome. Every time we start doing something new there is this period when we get weird feelings about maybe liking it and gah maybe this will make me into a slightly different person than before and then everything about it seems annoying for a while. This too shall pass.

  7. Minty
    April 8, 2019 / 12:24 pm

    Great choice of picture Angelica.

  8. Katie
    April 8, 2019 / 11:46 am

    OMG – if only heavy breathing was the worst thing about yoga classes. I’ve stopped going to the local “hot pod yoga” classes purely because every time I go, there is someone (and usually more than one individual too) who finds it acceptable to over relax and make noises and smells from the bottom!!

    Deep breathing in a warm environment that then smells bad = NOT RELAXING

    • April 8, 2019 / 12:19 pm

      No, no, no.totally unacceptable. LOL!!

  9. Fabienne
    April 8, 2019 / 9:28 am

    You made me snort laugh at work! Thanks! :)

    It’s nice to have some tid-bits of tittle-tattle, I missed it!

  10. Claire
    April 8, 2019 / 8:26 am

    OMG. Heavy breathers are loathsome! It’s very unfortunate that both my Pilates and yoga teachers welcome and encourage it. Gah. It’s like sitting in a room full of cart horses. It’s most irritating during any kind of shavasana/relaxation/meditation. “Concentrate on your breath…”. I can’t hear my bloody breath over the din coming from [Jane’s] nostrils. *and breathe*

  11. April 8, 2019 / 6:44 am

    Tuttle tattle sounds just great. So many people write long blogs on one subject it is refreshing to read something different.

    Is it the sounds (or the effect of the sounds) that started the trend of yoga outdoors… Think about that and the comment on men doing yoga…


  12. Kafka
    April 7, 2019 / 10:38 pm

    Thank god! I thought I was the only one who couldn’t stand the breathing. I went to Pilates and the breathing was as bad as hearing people chewing. And the class is so packed you can feel people’s breath. I asked the teacher at the end if she could play music next time as I was finding it difficult to get into it. She looked at me like I was crazy! I just stopped going, I will only go to the classes that play really loud music now

    • April 8, 2019 / 12:20 pm

      I’ve just thought of one that beats all noises: people kissing

      • kiddo the kid
        April 9, 2019 / 9:58 am

        Oh yes, noisy kissing! People are awful!

  13. Julie
    April 7, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    Recently I ‘tasted’ a dance/yoga taster day. A class of mostly maturer ladies, most of whom had not yet met. During lunch break our very energetic, buzzy, blondie,fitty of instructor advised us all .”….& do eat the carrot cake ladies as it’ll stop you farting later in a certain farty exercise, oh and please don’t break wind, (sorry can’t keep typing fart, hate the word) whilst I’m making minor adjustments to your poses , and when anyone does bottom burp just don’t admit it ,it’s a big hall noone will know,……”, She then continued with her grown up conversation to the neighbouring girls….. I was gobsmacked, jaw droppingly so…and in terror if the upcoming exercise…..

    • April 8, 2019 / 12:21 pm

      OMG the absolute PRESSURE of being told not to guff when they come and make adjustments to your pose! I mean!! How on earth do you NOT after that?! Hahahaha

  14. Emily
    April 7, 2019 / 9:48 pm

    I missed Sunday Tittle Tattle!

    And I know it seems weird, and I guess annoying? But ujjayi pranayama actually serves a really solid purpose in power vinyasa flows. It increases oxygenation, warms the body faster, and most importantly calms the system when the flow is really challenging and hard. In that circumstance it can be the difference between hanging in there with equanimity and crashing. Admittedly, it’s weird to encounter at first! But I promise it’s not (usually anyway) meant to be obnoxious. ;)

  15. K.
    April 7, 2019 / 6:03 pm

    Those yoga breathers! They drive me nuts too. Okay. We get it. You are soooooo much more relaxed than us. Thanks. Competitive relaxation breathing. It has driven me out of more than one yoga class.

    Also, in the US, we say “tidbit” instead of “titbit.” Much less awkward.

  16. Panda
    April 7, 2019 / 4:21 pm

    Here in the former colonies we call them “tidbits”. Perhaps a change over the years from pronounciation differences?

  17. Poorani
    April 7, 2019 / 3:59 pm

    How about tittle then? If I breathe loudly in yoga it feels like something is stuck up my nose causing the sound and is embarrassing. When I was taking a class my teacher never bothered about breathing loudly or the timing of inhaling and exhaling. It was all this asana and that asana unless it was a breathing exercise. I find Adriene too specific.

    • April 7, 2019 / 8:47 pm

      Same, I just think that bogeys might fly out.

  18. Emma Hudson
    April 7, 2019 / 3:46 pm

    I’ve heard worse noises in yoga!!!!!! I mean why do men think it’s ok to fart???

    • April 7, 2019 / 8:48 pm

      NO> NO> NO> what?!!!! Is this a thing? I’m dying here.

  19. Mary
    April 7, 2019 / 2:33 pm

    It looks as though both versions: tit bit and tid bit go way back: “hat we know for certain is that in the 1600s there were both tyd bit and tit-bit, and in both cases it referred to toothsome morsels of food (as OED puts it). ”

  20. Jane
    April 7, 2019 / 11:44 am

    Haha, the breathing thing made me laugh. I get really irritated by female tennis players who grunt and groan their way through a match like they’re going through childbirth simultaneously! So unnecessary. Here are another couple of saucy phrases for your delectation – cock-a-snook and cock-a-hoop. Snigger, snigger!

  21. Erna
    April 7, 2019 / 11:21 am

    Missed the Sunday Tittle Tattle!!! Thanks for bringing it back Ruth xxx

  22. April 7, 2019 / 11:10 am

    I have similar words too, in German, that I find mortifying when someone says them out loud. Must be a mixture between doubtful choices, like changing the tid to a tit, and over reacting fantasy.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  23. Hannah
    April 7, 2019 / 10:27 am

    Yarse! People who connect to their Jaya breath (?spelling) should be shot. I have to position myself well away from them at yoga. My teacher is resolutely non-mystical and says “It can help you focus… but you might feel a berk.”

  24. Sinead Bradbury
    April 7, 2019 / 9:44 am


  25. Holly
    April 7, 2019 / 9:32 am

    In Yoga, we are told to breathe like that. It’s called ‘Ujjayi’ breath and it is supposed to be raspy and audible. Some yoga teachers will tell you off if they can’t hear it!!

    • April 7, 2019 / 12:56 pm

      Ugh. They need to build bigger studios. : )

      • Tatiana
        April 7, 2019 / 5:12 pm

        Haha no, when a lot of people in the class are doing it, it’s very communal and calming. Also known as throat breathing because you should really hear the air moving through your throat. You can also think of it as an exercise in awareness. I find, the more I’m noticing other people in a class, the less I am focusing on myself internally.

    • Moo
      April 8, 2019 / 10:16 am

      Agree and it’s also very useful at calming your heart rate. I used it twice to reduce pounding heart rate /fear (once before being sedated for wisdom teeth extraction and second time in early labour!) Both times I was hooked up to monitor and the very controlled Uijjyui? Breath brought my heart rate right down fast and calm ensued! I know it’s annoying to listen to, but it really does work if you do it properly. Honest :-)

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