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.


Tags: Peter Capaldi - Miley Cyrus


More Peter Capaldi

New 'Doctor Who' Game Will Teach 6-12 Year Olds Computer Coding

A new online 'Doctor Who' game will teach children the basics of computer coding and programming. Aimed at six to 12-year-olds, the game is voiced...

Clara Becomes The Doctor In 'Doctor Who' Series 8: Episode 9 - 'Flatline'

Jenna Coleman's character Clara took on the role of the Doctor in the latest episode of BBC show 'Doctor Who' entitled 'Flatline' - but how...

Meet Prime Minister David Cameron and the Blacked Up Morris Dancers

There's an incredible funny line in the political comedy In The Loop, when Peter Capaldi's irate spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker is partway through one of his...

Doctor Who: The Reviews

Doctor Who anticipation has never been stronger than in recent times as fans prepared themselves for season eight of this science-fiction institution and the introduction...


Peter Capaldi on Jenna Coleman, "I Don't Even Know If She'll Make Xmas"

Peter Capaldi has dismissed rumours that Jenna-Louise Coleman is leaving Doctor Who, though warned that he wasn't even sure if she would make Christmas. Speculation...

With T Minus One Day Till Premiere, "Doctor Who" Takes Over Central London

With T minus one day to the season premiere of Doctor Who, the show is inescapable – particularly if you’re in Central London The TARDIS...

So, What Did Peter Capaldi Do Before 'Doctor Who'?

Peter Capaldiwill make his debut series appearance as the twelfth doctor when series eight ofDoctor Whobegins on 23 August 2014. At 55 years old when...

The Geek TV Shows We're Not Afraid To Love

Geeks: once the deeply awkward and much-maligned members of society- ridiculed by Jocks and long stereotyped on TV and film as socially inept weaklings with...



Peter Capaldi Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Peter Capaldi

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All