Boris Johnson has a way with words that is unlike any politician that we can think of.

Whether he is offending various nations from around the world or insulting niqab-wearing women, the former foreign secretary is a bit of an expert at putting his foot in it.

You'd think that today when he was making his highly anticipated speech at the Tory conference in Birmingham that he would have had his lines triple checked for any errors.

However, that doesn't appear to be the case as, during his speech, Johnson praised "grafters and grifters". Yes, "grifters". If you know what that means, then well done. If not, keep reading.

This came in a segment of his speech where he was attacking the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Johnson said:

It was astonishing that he [Corbyn] had absolutely nothing to say about the wealth-creating sector of the economy - the people who get up at the crack of dawn to prepare their shops the grafter and the grifter, the innovator, the entrepreneurs.

Now, nearly everyone will understand the grafter part but what about the grifter?

No, it's not the DC Comics character but as the dictionary defines:

1. a person who operates a side show at a circus fair, etc., especially a gambling attraction.

2. a swindler, dishonest gambler, or the like.

Quite why Johnson thought it was appropriate to praise a 'swindler' or a 'dishonest gambler' is a little puzzling.

Others have also questioned whether he actually meant to say that.

It appears that this actually wasn't a mistake at all, as the word was included in the pre-released extracts from the speech.

Oh well, just another bizarre and unpredictable day in British politics.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)