Omnishambles! How Malcolm Tucker Updated The Oxford English Dictionary

Omnishambles - meaning a situation which is shambolic from every possible angle - is amongst the latest words added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It was named word of the year in 2012 after being coined by the writers of the BBC political satire The Thick of It

Fiona McPherson, one of the lexicographers on the judging panel, told the BBC at the time, "It was a word everyone liked, which seemed to sum up so many of the events over the last 366 days in a beautiful way.

It's funny, it's quirky, and it has broken free of its fictional political beginnings, firstly by spilling over into real politics, and then into other contexts."

Omnishambles was first heard at the end of an episode of the third series of The Thick of It, during a typically foul-mouthed rant from spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, played by Peter Capaldi. 

Tucker was berating head of the Department of Social Affairs, Nicola Murray, over her husband's involvement in a private finance initiative contract and her plans to send her daughter to private school.

"You are a f*cking omnishambles, you're like that coffee machine, from bean to cup, you f*ck up," he said.

Watch Malcolm Tucker debuting 'Omnishambles':

The word soon crossed over to real life, with Labour leader Ed Miliband telling the House of Commons, "We are all keen to hear the prime minister's view as to why, four weeks on from the Budget, even people within Downing Street are calling it an omnishambles Budget."

Other words added to the Oxford Dictionary include 'twerk,' referring to the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs on Sunday, and selfie - taking a self-portrait on a camera or smart-phone.

Peter CapaldiPeter Capaldi Played Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It.


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