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'Omnishambles' is the Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012 Previous Post: The Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012 is 'omnishambles'


In pictures: 10 Word of the Year runners-up

Oxford Dictionaries last night announced that ‘omnishambles’ (UK) and ‘GIF’ (US) are their Words of the Year for 2012.

Here, appropriately, we’ve GIFed ten of the other words the judging panels were considering.


  • Mobot: a characteristic gesture as performed by the British long-distance runner Mo Farah on winning the 5,000 and 10,000 metres events at the 2012 Olympics, in which both arms are arched above the head with the hands pointing down to the top of the head to form a distinctive ‘M’ shape [blend of Mo (diminutive of ‘Mohamed’) and ROBOT]
  • medal: to win a medal in a sporting event or competition by finishing first, second, or third
  • Super PAC: a type of independent political action committee which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates
  • Games Maker: a volunteer responsible for helping the public at an Olympic venue during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games [a proprietary term for various goods and services]
  •  pleb: an ordinary person, especially one regarded as being of low social status [from Latin plebs ‘the common people’]
  • Eurogeddon: the potential financial collapse of the Eurozone, envisaged as having catastrophic implications for the region’s economic stability [from euro + (arma)geddon]
  • mummy porn: erotic fiction of a type written for or read by women
  • second screening: the practice or activity of watching television while simultaneously using a smartphone, tablet computer, laptop, or other screen device, typically in order to read about the programme being watched or post about it on a social media site
  • Nomophobia: anxiety caused by being without one’s mobile phone [from no + mo(bile) + phobia]
  • YOLO: you only live once; typically used as rationale or endorsement for impulsive or irresponsible behaviour

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