Some Words of the Year 2009




Cherie Blair’s euphemism for the items (including ‘contraceptive equipment’) she

was too embarrassed to take to Balmoral, which led to the conception of her son, Leo.


Travolta Micawber Strategy

Gordon Brown’s political plan

— i.e., staying alive whilst hoping that something will turn up.


Angel Flights

US military flights repatriating dead soldiers.

Great Haul of China

GB’s Olympic medal tally.


Sandwich eaten al desko.



Addiction to (fake) tans.


Carla Effect

The boost in Nicolas Sarkozy’s ratings after he married Carla Bruni.



A mild hangover.


Non Dom[iciled]

Those who pay no tax on earnings made outside the UK.


Flopsy Bunny Issues

Political policies to which few object (e.g., alleviating poverty).


The N.I.C.E. Decade

In May 2008, the Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King

said ‘for the time being at least, the N.I.C.E. decade is behind us.’

In this context, N.I.C.E. meant ‘Non-Inflationary Consistent Expansion’.


Wall Street Got Drunk

George W. Bush’s ‘off the record’ analysis of the crash.



Japanese term for ‘sudden death from overwork’.



Households that, out of necessity, contain 3 generations of the same family.



the relocation of firms or individuals to lower-tax jurisdictions.



Brouhaha following J.K. Rowling’s suggestion that Albus Dumbledore was gay.


Marmite Politician

Like Boris Johnson or Ken Livingstone, that voters either ‘love’ or ‘hate’.