Newly minted or newly popular words and phrases showcase the key social, economic, technological and cultural trends that have impacted the general consciousness. Twelve months ago the words of the year included ‘Arab spring’, ‘Occupy’ and ‘The 99 per cent’. A number of analysts and commentators have now chosen their words of 2012.
In the UK ‘omnishambles’ was coined by the writers of the political satire TV show ‘The Thick of It’. Used by the foul-mouthed protagonist, it summed up a shambolic political situation and – in an example of life imitating art – was taken up in 2012 by ‘real’ politicians in the UK. It was also briefly amended in the UK to ‘Romneyshambles’ after US-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubt as to London’s capability to host the Olympic Games.
Omnishambles was chosen as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, which chose the verb ‘gif’ as the US word of the year.