This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Thing Not To Do Today: be omnishambolic.

We're especially lucky to have this word because it almost died at birth.

It was coined by Armando Iannucci in a 2009 episode of the British political sit-com The Thick Of It, but it's only just recently that it's started popping up all over the place.

Why, the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition used it in parliament the other day.


(Oh dear, those boys will squabble. Really, with the amount of time and energy they spend working out how to be nasty to each other, it's a good job the world doesn't have any serious problems. I mean, what if the economy was in a mess, or we were involved in a war or something?)

In any case, omnishambolic is a beautifully endearing word which manages to create a picture of itself in the course of its lumbering length.

And, as surely none of us manage quite to be omnishambolic, it allows us to feel quite competent, too.

Thing Not To Do Today: be omnishambolic. This word comes from the Latin omnis, which means all, joined to shambolic, which means disorganised or chaotic. Shambolic comes from shambles, which used to mean either a place where animals were slaughtered or else a row of butchers' stalls. Shambles comes from the Old English scaemel, stool, from the Late Latin scamellum, a small bench.

Oh, and by the way: shambling is what you do if you have wonky legs, like a butcher's table.





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