Brexit and Other New Words Stemming from Political News

London Sculpture-VinceFazziPhoto

“Vroom Vroom” sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn, outside The Dorchester on Park Lane in London—where the word Brexit originated. (Photo by Vincent Fazzi, May 2011.)

The European Union’s loss is the English vocabulary’s gain. We’re talking about Brexit, a new word stemming from the news.

The Oxford Dictionaries included Brexit on its short list for the 2015 Word of the Year, but the term didn’t get the title and it didn’t surge in popularity until the past few months. In case you’re wondering, Oxford Dictionaries chose not a word but an icon, “face with tears of joy” emoji, as the “word” that best represented 2015.

5 New Words

Here are five newly coined words straight from the world of politics:

Brexit: An abbreviation of “British exit” from the European Union.

The victory of the pro-exit movement in the June 23, 2016, referendum in the U.K. increased the popularity of the term.

Bigly: In a big way.

GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump told his supporters he will win “bigly.”

Word + ghazi: The suffix is added to a word when referring to a controversy, such as “ballghazi,” meaning the scandal involving the Patriots and the team’s deflated footballs.

The suffix came from the word Benghazi, the city in Libya, where four Americans were killed during a terrorist attack in a U.S. outpost. The Obama administration initially said the attack was a spontaneous act prompted by a YouTube video denigrating Islam. It turned out to be an attack by terrorists with Al-Qaeda connections.

Word + “mentum”: The suffix is added to something that’s gaining momentum. For example, “Bernie-mentum,” when Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders attracted 100,000 people to attend an event when he was running in the Democratic presidential primary elections.

Servergate: The controversy related to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email account on a private server when conducting government business during her stint as Secretary of State under the Obama administration.

The use of the suffix “gate” originated from Watergate, the scandal over a break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s office in the Watergate building in 1972, which led to President Nixon’s resignation.

Read other stories about words:

Enormity, Enormousness, and 26 Other Commonly Confused Words

MacGyver, Paparazzi, and Eight Other Words Originating from Pop Culture

Common Mistakes about 10 Common Phrases

Affluenza, Hispandering, Swatting, and Other Negative Words from the News

Verb, Verbing, Verbification: Turning Nouns into Verbs

8 Overused and Meaningless Words to Avoid

Normcore, Americaphobia, and 8 Other New Words to Take Note Of

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