Quirky News

  • 14 November 2012, 11:28

'Omnishambles' named word of the year

The Thick of It actor Peter Capaldi /PA

'Omnishambles' has beaten 'pleb' and 'mummy porn' to be named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary.

The word - meaning a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle - was coined in 2009 by the writers of BBC political satire The Thick of It.

Pleb - an old word given new life by claims Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell used it to describe police officers in Downing Street - was also shortlisted.

Other words included 'Eurogeddon' - the threatened financial collapse in the eurozone - and 'mummy porn' - inspired by the 50 Shades of Grey books.

The London Olympics threw up several contenders including the verb 'to medal' and distance runner Mo Farah's 'Mobot' victory celebration.

New words from the world of technology included "second screening" - watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet.

Fiona McPherson, one of the lexicographers on the judging panel, said: "It was a word everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way.

"It's funny, it's quirky, and it has broken free of its fictional political beginnings, firstly by spilling over into real politics, and then into other contexts."

Omnishambles was first heard at the end of an episode in the third series of The Thick of It, during a characteristically foul-mouthed rant by spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, played by Peter Capaldi.