'Omnishambles' Named Word of the Year by Oxford

November 13, 2012, Tuesday // 04:25
Bulgaria: 'Omnishambles' Named Word of the Year by Oxford
Labour leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech during the Trades Union Congress-TUC march in London, Britain, 20 October 2012. Photo by EPA/BGNES

"Omnishambles" has been named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary for 2012, three years after it was coined, BBC reported.

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.

This year Labor leader Ed Miliband made the first recorded use of omnishambles in the House of Commons in April.

"Over the last month we have seen the charity tax shambles, the churches tax shambles, the caravan tax shambles and the pasty tax shambles," said the Labour leader at Prime Minister's Questions.

"We are all keen to hear the prime minister's view as to why, four weeks on from the Budget, even people within Downing Street are calling it an omnishambles Budget."

But three years later the word has crossed over into real life, said the judges.

"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," Fiona McPherson, one of the lexicogrophers on the judging panel, told BBC.

"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.

"If influence is any indication of staying power, it has already staked its claim by being linguistically productive in its own right, producing a number of related coinages.

"While many of them are probably humorous one-offs, their very existence shows that the omnishambles itself has entered at least the familiar parlance, if not quite the common parlance."

Other words shortlisted as candidates for being the word of the year include "eurogeddon" - the threat of financial collapse in the eurozone, "green-on-blue" - military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, medal as a verb, "second screening" - watching TV while simultaneously using a computer, phone or tablet, as well as an acronym, which social media promoted and polarized "yolo" - you only live once.

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