OPEN and frank. Often in this column, I pick on a topical word and try to work out what it means.

For example, I was delighted to hear the Commons leader of the SNP Ian Blackfoot, who is the master of synthetic rage, angrily say to Theresa May: “We are scunnered by this Government ignoring Scotland.”

Scunnered is a great word. Even if you don’t know what it means, you can feel disgust and loathing seeping out of its every syllable – on Tuesday, Mr Blackfoot’s amendment had been sunk by 327 votes to 39 so you can see why he was scunnered, or sickened.

I enjoyed the contribution from Birmingham MP Jess Phillips, who said that the Government’s definition of a skilled worker as someone earning £30,000-a-year, and so someone who would be allowed into the country post-Brexit, was an insult to all those teachers and nurses who earn less.

She said: “Since I was elected, I have met many people who earn way more than £30,000 and have literally no discernible skills. Not even one. I thought I had met posh people before I came here, but I had actually just met people who eat olives. I had no idea of how posh a person could be.”

Everyone thinks they know the derivation of posh – port out starboard home, because those were the cooler, more comfortable (and so more expensive) cabins on the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company’s ships between Britain and India, but this is apocryphal. But no one knows where posh really comes from – could it be old Romany slang for small coins, could it be 1890s slang for a dandy, could it be an Urdu or Persian word for someone who dresses in white, and so is an affluent colonial?

But there’s no confusion about “open and frank”. That’s how Mrs May’s 45-minute conversation with Donald Tusk, the European Council president, was described after her Parliamentary triumph on Tuesday.

You can imagine how open and frank it was: “So Mrs May, the deal that you’ve spent months saying is finished and cannot be reopened, that you said was the best ever for Britain and could not possibly be improved, you now want to reopen and improve?

“You accept that this border issue has to be addressed because wherever two trading blocs rub against one there is a boundary which has to be policed in some way, and your negotiators have spent two years pondering all the alternatives and consider the backstop to be the best, but now you want two weeks to find more ‘alternative arrangements’ without giving us an inkling of a clue what those alternatives might be.

“And then you say that this deal, which sunk to your country’s biggest ever humiliating defeat just a fortnight ago, will somehow sail through with everyone cheering it to the rafters.”

He could have been even more frank: we’ve got 10,000 civil servants working on Brexit; we’re spending £1.5bn-a-year on it; at a time of austerity, Mrs May found a £1bn to bung at the DUP in a failed bid to buy its compliance; she’s talking of throwing more at former coalfield communities to buy the support of Leave-inclined Labour MPs; just this week I learn that Darlington council, which doesn’t have enough farthings to run a library service, has received £200,000 to mitigate against the worst excesses of a no-deal Brexit.

I don’t really know what “scunnered” means, but it feels as it fits the bill.