Posted by ChrisA on July 24, 2007
In Reply to: Herbert posted by Hermione on July 24, 2007
: What is meant when somebody is described as "A(n) Herbert"? or "A bit of a(n) Herbert"?
: I understand that it's not as commonly used nowadays.
It means an ineffectual person; a bit of a fool. You're right to say it's not used so commonly these days. I'm not sure it ever was that common outside SE England. I once knew a man called Herbert Wright who, of course, had to enter his name on official forms as Wright, Herbert. He said nobody remarked on it until he began working with Londoners.
Does anyone know the derivation?
ChrisA (there seems to be another Chris so, as I'm fairly new, I'll use ChrisA from now on)