This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Friday, 7 August 2015

Word To Use Today: millwallisation

Yes, yes, all right, Millwallisation is a rather horrid word. Yes, it does sound like some process for making brick into concrete, or books into coal.

But it contains the word Millwall and so it's earned a place in my heart.

Millwall was originally part of the London docks north of the Thames, but now its fame rests principally upon its being a football team based in South East London. 

I can't say that Millwall is the glossiest or most successful football team. This season it will play in the third tier of English football, and it has a (for a long time undeserved) reputation for thuggishness and violence.

But it has a reputation for singing, too. When Millwall got to the FA Cup Final in 2004 (where they lost to Manchester United, boo!) their supporters went away full of pride, partly at being there in the first place (FA Cup Final? Us? Blimey!) and partly at having made so much more noise than the other supporters.

And what does Millwall sing?

Ah, this is where Millwallisation comes in. They sing, most famously and to the tune of Gavin Sutherland's Sailing:

No one likes us, no one likes us
No one likes us, we don't care.

We are Millwall, s
uper Millwall
We are Millwall from the Den.

And so from the glorious singing in the stands at The New Den to the British Labour Party, which is busy choosing a new leader. Their members' choice appears to be falling on a candidate whose political principles are rather...old-fashioned. This has caused some consternation and incredulity - and the word Millwallisation.

I came across the word in the Telegraph online edition of 21/7/15, where John McTernan wrote:

It is the Labour Party which wants to revert to the old Adam. The purity of powerlessness. The celebration of defeat. The Millwallisation of politics - "No one likes us, we don't care!"

So there we are. An ugly word, but actually rather a useful one, I think. Best of all it celebrates Millwall, lovely Millwall, the team my husband's family has certainly supported for nearly a hundred years and probably for longer than that.

So go the lions! 



  1. And very appropriate in these times!

    1. People were using maxwellisation on the news the other day, and I have NO IDEA AT ALL what that means.