13/11/2012 03:22 GMT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 GMT

'Omnishambles' Declared Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012

omnishambles noun, informal

a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations

[coined by the writers of the satirical television programme The Thick of It: from OMNI- and SHAMBLES]

In an uneasy year for the coalition full of high profile political gaffes and policy 'flip flopping', it will probably come as no surprise.

The word 'omnishambles' has been declared Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year 2012.

Armando Iannucci, one of the writers of The Thick Of It

Coined by the writers of the wickedly funny BBC satire The Thick Of It, the word originally referred to a badly managed situation in politics - and was even Americanised during one presidential candidates ill-fated visit to the UK as a 'Romneyshambles'.

But the term rapidly evolved to the point where it can now be used to describe anything from the current BBC crisis to the latest faltering football team to the next morning you lose your keys and bluster in late to work.

The shortlist of Oxford Dictionaries UK Words of the Year provide a snap shot of a year characterised by the Olympics and huge, long-running media stories like the Euro crisis and former Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell allegedly calling a police officer a 'pled'.

The Shortlist (in no particular order)

Omnishambles (winner)

Games Maker

to medal (verb)



mummy porn



second screening


Oxford Dictionaries explained: "The Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past twelve months and it does not have to be a word that will stick around for a good length of time: it is very difficult to predict accurately which new words will have staying power.

"And while the Word of the Year has great resonance for 2012, it doesn't mean that the word will automatically go into any Oxford dictionaries. Evidence that a word or expression will stay the course is required before it is included in an Oxford dictionary."

What would have been your pick for word of the years?

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