Pollard writes today in the Sunday Telegraph (as recorded on his blog) that “There is only one story which really gets some commentators’ wickers up and that is that the Blairs have chosen to holiday in homes belonging to Sir Cliff Richard, Prince Girolamo Strozzi and Silvio Berlusconi.”
The claim of substance that he makes in the sentence is obviously false, as so often in Pollard’s writing, but that’s not what bothers me here. Rather it’s the word “wickers”. There’s a phrase “to get on [someone’s] wick” [see OED, “wick”, 2.a.], and this could be a clumsy attempt to render that thought. And I read also that “wicker” as a verb can be used instead of “whicker”, which means to whinny, or “To utter a half-suppressed laugh; to snigger, titter”, which might work in a slightly different context, but not really here, as he’s not really writing about journalists who mock the Blairs.
And Google doesn’t really help either: the main uses of the words “wicker up” seem to be found in furniture catalogues, but again, I don’t think that that’s the metaphor that Pollard’s using.
So is this some horse-racing jargon that Pollard has in his vocabulary to which I’m happily not privy, or is he a master of linguistic invention to whom I should defer?
Or is he illiterate, or am I?