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Newsnight neologisms needed

Verity Murphy | 14:48 UK time, Tuesday, 9 June 2009

At 10.22 BST on Wednesday 10 June logophiles everywhere will be celebrating the creation of the millionth English-language word - that's according to online language website Global Language Monitor, which tracks additions to our vocabulary.


In order to make it onto the GLM list a word has to have at least 25,000 citations across a wide range of global media sources - something which the group's chief word analyst Paul Payack says happens about every hour and a half.

GLM announced their list of contenders for the millionth word title at the end of May - they include words from Hindi and Chinese, which thanks to globalisation have become popular with English speakers, words related to the economic crisis, latest fashion trends, and news stories.

Check out just a few of them here:

Zombie Banks - banks that would be dead if not for government intervention and cash infusion;

Jai Ho! - from the Hindi for "it is accomplished", achieved English-language popularity through the multi-Oscar winning film Slumdog Millionaire;

Recessionista - a fashion conscious person who uses the global economic restructuring to their financial benefit;

E-vampire - appliances and machines on standby-mode, which continually use electrical energy while they "sleep";

Wonderstar - as in Britain's Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle, an overnight sensation, exceeding all reasonable expectations.

But we want to hear what new words you think deserve a mention. Leave your ideas below...


  • Comment number 1.

    Environomics = Green Economics. :)

  • Comment number 2.

    Liberal-Democrats - they've just topologized it haven't they? ;-)

  • Comment number 3.


    By 'Poster' out of 'Newsnight'.

  • Comment number 4.

    barrie (#3) I was going to suggest that, and attribute it (accurately) to one Barrie Singleton You've come up with many others of course, but that's one of the best. Quite a wordsmith you are.

  • Comment number 5.

    enviROI - for 'environmental ROI (Return On Investment)', and can be deemed positive or negative.

    Essentially is a measure of some environmental product, service or initiative that is applied to try and get to the actual positive result claimed and/or tangibly, provably delivered/deliverable in terms of our kids' futures upon this planet. Not by how good it looks in the back of the Cayenne en route to the recycling centre with an empty Bolly bottle in your Anya Hindmarsh carrier.

    It's based on what the ground to ground (dig it up, make it, ship it, sell it, use it, maintain it, dispose of it) consequence is in terms of emissions (carbon or otherwise) 'it' will impose. Will it add (bad), mitigate (better than nothing... usually) reduce or prevent any more (good, I hope, almost invariably).

    It is related, but different to ROI, as it is perfectly possible to have a good enviROI yet deliver no financial reward. So long as the costs and benefits are understood, and accepted, someone can choose to lose money but do better by the future.

    That said, there is of course a lower limit, where one has to wonder if the money is being spent on something seemingly with a good enviROI when it could in fact be invested in something 'better'. This is less serious in the case of the individual, but can impact when deciding between major capital systems.

    Written as I wade today through a bunch of stuff from various Guv and quango PRs on food waste, energy from waste and packaging, and dutifully trotted out near verbatim by most in the MSM, but which might not quite add up as billed... again.

    And as I have been adding to this ad hoc inbetween working, it is interesting to note as I post that the first offering is another in complement...

    1. At 3:43pm on 09 Jun 2009, PACMAN001
    Environomics = Green Economics. :)

  • Comment number 6.

    Helicopter Environmentalists - those, from government, media and now even corporate circles, who drop in briefly making a ton of green noise and stirring up a lot of dust that can be really distracting. Then they usually just as quickly flit away to the next self-centred issue their people point them at, leaving others to sweep up behind them. Ironically, their favoured mode of transport is usually more guided by their busy lifestyles than any tangible examples there might be value in setting.

  • Comment number 7.

    A BoyleCall - an obvious act of insincere populism from an out of touch politician trying to appear human to the electorate.

  • Comment number 8.

    Entry: Goodwink
    Pronunciation: \gud-wik\
    Function: transitive verb

    To Goodwink is to spectacularly fail in the management of a business and be heavily rewarded for it - after Sir Fred Goodwin of Royal Bank of Scotland plc destroyed the bank's share value and was rewarded with a fat pension.

  • Comment number 9.

    Paxmanised - verb - to be verbally grilled.

  • Comment number 10.

    egg mayonaized.......nick the griff

  • Comment number 11.

    Obamarama; a positive, can-do view of the globe's challenges as great opportunities.

  • Comment number 12.

    A Trojan Hearse:

    What's just been used on the British economy. Bailing out the bankers by dumping debt on future generations.

  • Comment number 13.

    memeblog - this is a blog that is very author oriented and is exclusively about self promotion. Comes from the image of a blogger furiously tapping in me me me me me me....

  • Comment number 14.

    The Twitterverse

    Like the blogosphere.

  • Comment number 15.


    Many thanks JJ. Truth to tell, I was hijacked by my need for acclaim (just like a politician) but, to my credit (?) hesitated before succumbing to the dumbing.
    So perhaps I saved you from stooping below your usual high standard? (:o)
    Glad to be of service.

  • Comment number 16.

    #15; a blushingbarriesingleton; description of egregious fawning to one's betters.

  • Comment number 17.

    Politicians don't volunteer for punishment, they volunteer US for punishment. The idea of an early general election suits those who wish to gain power and control the agenda of political and democratic reform. Don't expect the next government to be too hard on their own party and since it will be one of the ruling DUOPOLY, don't expect a fair, electorally proportionate democracy for decades to come. Gordon Brown has less than twelve months to transform his legacy to politics and DEMOCRACY.
    Thanks to Polly Toynbee (?) for using the word "duopoly". In appreciation I introduce the word "pollyopoly".

  • Comment number 18.

    Jai Ho is the only contender. It HAS to win.

  • Comment number 19.


    2-CLEVER-OVER-2 (Too clever by half)

  • Comment number 20.


  • Comment number 21.

    Drunch - Liquid Lunch.

  • Comment number 22.

    proxymoron - derived from 'proxy' - 'a person authorized to act for another - which one could argue is what the person you give your vote to is... er... was. Our beloved MPs.

    The second part - oxymoron - is also relevant in more than a few contexts: 'a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms'

    There may well be other allusions, but I could not imagine what:)

  • Comment number 23.

    BACK TO BASICS (#22)

    If you vote for a ROSETTE-STAND, you get a PROXYMORON as your MP. Nailed!


    I shall be taking to the streets, at the next General Election, to try to awaken the 'little people' (see posts above). 'PROXYMORON' will feature prominently in my efforts. Thanks Junkk!

  • Comment number 24.

    Barrie #3

    One of your very best - inspired! I'm going to chuckle over that all day. Thank you.

  • Comment number 25.

    kashibeyaz (#16) Are you angling for a re-patriation grant? ;-)

  • Comment number 26.

    It beats me why the lexico-numerical combination of 2 separate identities which form Web 02 should even be considered as a new word.
    Web: Internet sense is from 1992, shortened from World Wide Web (1990); website is from 1994; webmaster is attested from 1993 /from Online Etymology Dictionary/while 2 stems from what seems like time immemorial.

  • Comment number 27.

    Oh Web 2

    So how come it just needs 25,000 references I was using it two years ago. So it has taken two years for less than 24,999 other uses to appear.

    Web 2, anyone with a cynical mindset would think it just appeared due to the event being organised by a online language monitoring website.

    Wow what a coincidence it was. Perhaps someone should investigate this.

  • Comment number 28.


    A reprimand for a temporary lapse into self-indulgent narcisscism.

  • Comment number 29.

    'Revoltaire' - New era democratic rallying concept, often supported and even promoted by soem who know what's best for us in the MSM ; 'We may not agree with what you say, but we will sort of tolerate it... so long as you are not an Israeli/BNP/[insert folk that you really... really don't agree with and hence reckon need silencing here]'.

    Which is an odd caveat from those seeking to be seen as credible libertarians. But usually they are those as dogmatic and convinced of their rectitude as those they oppose.

    So, to 'a little bit pregnant' I guess we need to add 'freeishdom of speech'.

  • Comment number 30.

    'Enhancing the narrative'
    'Interpreting events'
    'Emerging truths'

    The first two are mechanisms by which objective facts can be passed through a special process managed by those who 'know better' to ensure 'news' is shared in a way that those it gets presented to get to think 'more correctly' about it all.

    Often, when it really rather flies in the face of clear evidence, and may in fact be unsupportable, it can still be assisted to the point that it becomes an 'emerging truth'.

  • Comment number 31.

    Poohbahood - the act of seeking, conferring and/or being conferred with ever longer and more daft un-earned, unwarranted titles in an attempt to confer long lost respectability and reverence, but which actually fools, and impresses few outside a very small world. And probably just makes things worse.

    As in...

  • Comment number 32.

    Boxtickocracy, Beancounterhood & Targetmeetering - All complementing versions of the same, less than startlingly successful form of nu-governance whereby anything tangible and/or possibly useful is suborned to simply looking like things are going to be done, being done and will be done as opposed to dedicating any funds or personnel to actually just doing a good job in the first place.

    Interestingly, it seems that these systems all seem to cost a lot more to implement and run, and despite this are actually self-generating by virtue of limitless funds on tap (if now on the 'never never' - thanks, kids) and a culture of zero accountability, no responsibility and 'Whocaresaboutability?' (oo, another one) so long as the right boxes are ticked, targets are met and ... you get the picture.


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