‘soapedy’: meaning and origin

a television programme or cinema film exhibiting qualities of both drama and comedy—USA, 1998—blend of ‘soap (opera)’, or of ‘soaper’, and of ‘comedy’—coined on various occasions by different persons, independently from one another

Read More

‘may your chooks turn into emus and kick your dunny down’

Australia, 1972—a jocular curse—the Australian National Dictionary Centre explains that this phrase “recalls an earlier time when many Australians kept chooks (domestic chickens) in the backyard and the dunny was a separate outhouse”

Read More

‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’: meaning and origin

UK, 1920—a group of three objects or persons—alludes to Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, a trio of animal characters featured in a children’s comic strip published in The Daily Mirror (London) from 1919 onwards

Read More

a disparaging term: ‘Corbynista’

UK, 2015—(depreciative) a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020—coined after nouns such as ‘Sandinista’—intended to liken Corbyn’s supporters at best to radical socialists and at worst to cultists

Read More

‘lightbulb moment’: meaning and origin

USA, 1974—a moment of sudden realisation, enlightenment or inspiration—alludes to the representation of an illuminated lightbulb above a character’s head in a cartoon or comic strip, indicating that this character has had an idea

Read More

‘omnishambles’: meaning and origin

a situation that has been completely mismanaged—from ‘omni-’ and ‘shambles’—coined by Tony Roche in the British television series The Thick of It (3rd series, episode 1, 24 October 2009)

Read More