Omnishambles was first used in the BBC satire The Thick of It to describe a disaster from every conceivable angle. It was quickly picked up by Labour leader Ed Milliband and used in Prime Minister’s Question Time in an attack on David Cameron.
I’m a big fan of The Thick of It and Malcolm Tucker’s sweary rants taking the use of profanity to heights never reached before. It’s no surprise that the team at the Oxford English Dictionary didn’t select any of the compound swear words he created.
Other words included “Eurogeddon” – the threatened financial collapse in the eurozone – and “mummy porn” – inspired by the 50 Shades series.
“Green-on-blue” – military attacks by forces regarded as neutral, such as when members of the Afghan army or police attack foreign troops.
Olympics in London provided several contenders including “to medal” and “Games Maker” as well Mo Farah’s victory celebration “the Mobot”.
“Pleb” – was a late entry, driven by claims Conservative Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell used it to describe police officers in Downing Street.
Language continues to develop and evolve
What all this shows is that despite the best efforts of some people, language and the English language in particular continue to develop and grow. As a transcription and translation company we have to keep track of new words as they appear and ensure that we can use them in the correct context as well as apply accurate translations.
Not sure how our translators will tackle “Omnishambles”? But, I’m asking them now, so I’ll post the translations soon.
Omnishambles Translations Update
Here are few attempts at translations of Omnishambles, we’ve had already.
- German: Riesensauerei
- German: Allgemeinedurcheinander
- Spanish: Desastre total
- Hindi: Ulat-Palat
Via Twitter from @ACatCalledFrank.
Just made this up, and I have a very limited grasp of French, but I do think “toutesmerde” has a nice ring to it.
Tell us your translations using the comments section below. Be as creative as you like.