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'Omnishambles' is Oxford Dictionary's 2012 'word of the year'

The term, defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations", topped a list of words which academics say reflect the past 12 months in the UK.

The term 'omnishambles' - coined by a political satire TV series - has been crowned by Oxford University as 2012's 'word of the year'.

The term, defined as "a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations", topped a list of words which academics say reflect the past 12 months in the UK.

And in a year where the British media faced an existential crisis and top politicians became increasingly gaffe-prone, it was deemed as the word which best summed up the chaotic goings-on at the top of UK society.

'Omnishambles' was coined by writers of the hit BBC satire series, The Thick Of It', and has since been applied to government PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations for the London Olympics.

It was crowned 'word of the year' ahead of 'Games Maker', which came to prominence during the Olympics, 'mummy porn', in reference to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Also in contention were 'Mobot', the trademark celebration of GB Olympic hero Mo Farah, 'to medal', another legacy of the Games, and 'Eurogeddon', reflecting the ongoing financial crisis.

Oxford University Press lexicographer Susie Dent said 'omnishambles' was chosen for its popularity as well as its "linguistic productivity."


'Mobot', named after Mo Farah's trademark celebration, was also a 'word of the year' contender REUTERS



She said "a notable coinage coming from the word is Romneyshambles" — a derisive term used by the British press after U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed doubts about London's ability to host a successful Olympics.

Although 'omnishambles' is 2012's word of the year, there is still no guarantee it will make it into the dictionary.

The University stated: "We are constantly monitoring language usage and omnishambles will remain under consideration for inclusion in Oxford’s dictionaries.


Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell also made an impression on the list, thanks to his use of the word 'pleb' (S …



"For every new dictionary or online update we assess all the most recent terms that have emerged and select those which we judge to be the most significant or important and those which we think are likely to stand the test of time."

Each year the Oxford University teams pick different words of the year for each side of the Atlantic.
In the U.S., the 2012 word of the year was 'GIF'.

'Omnishambles' follows in the steps of 'squeezed middle' last year, 'big society' in 2010, and 'simples' in 2009 in being given the award.