OUP hails 'omnishambles' as Word of the Year

First published in News

THE TV show that spawned it may have ended, but the word ‘omnishambles’ will live on.

Oxford University Press experts today named it word of the year.

A product of the British political comedy series The Thick of It, ‘omnishambles’ gained momentum throughout 2012 as a word used to describe “a comprehensively mismanaged situation, characterized by a shambolic string of blunders”.

The Thick of It was created by Armando Iannucci – a patron of the Silver Star Society, set up to raise cash for the Silver Star Unit at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Art met real life in April when Labour Party leader Ed Miliband borrowed the phrase in the House of Commons to refer to Chancellor of the Exchequor George Osborne’s “omnishambles Budget”, giving it traction in Parliament and the press.

Other shortlisted words included ‘mummy porn’, a derogatory label for erotic fiction written by or aimed at women; ‘pleb’, which was brought into focus during a political row, and ‘YOLO’, which refers to ‘you only live once’, used as an excuse for impulsive or irresponsible behaviour.

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