Crisis slang: European language born of economic gloom

by Toby Manhire / 01 August, 2013
Across the continent, languages are swelling with crisis related coinages, reports IHT
Dizzy still from years of economic buffeting, the nations of Europe have witnessed discernible inflation in the field of “crisis slang”.

The Spanish Royal Academy has just updated the official dictionary with 200 words that have “been added or given new meanings” as a result of the crisis, reports the International Herald Tribune.

The term Ni-Nis, for example, describing “the legions of young people who are neither studying or working” – much like our “Neets” – has become commonplace.

In Greece, you’ll hear neoptohi, meaning the “new poor”, a “play on the Greek word for nouveau riche”, and poukou, the “pre-crisis era”.

In Italy, you’ll hear spreaddite, which is apparently used to describe “the intensification of suffering caused by the high spread”.

Portugal, meanwhile, has grandolar, which means “to subject a government minister to a singing protest using a revolutionary hymn”.

The crisis has also fomented a certain amount of “Euro newspeak”, according to German commentator Axel Hacke in the Süddeutsche Zeitung a couple of years ago. Particularly obnoxious, he argues, is the term ““euro emergency parachute”.

The European Union has plenty of linguistic issues of its own. A recent publication identified a list of misused terminology in EU publications.

 
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

Richard Prebble: Jacinda Ardern will face the tyranny of events
86009 2018-01-19 00:00:00Z Politics

Richard Prebble: Jacinda Ardern will face the tyra…

by Richard Prebble

I predicted Bill English would lose the election and the winner would be Winston Peters. But no forecaster, including the PM, predicted her pregnancy.

Read more
Aokigahara: More than just the ‘suicide forest’
85966 2018-01-19 00:00:00Z World

Aokigahara: More than just the ‘suicide forest’

by Justin Bennett

It's known as a 'suicide forest', but Justin Bennett found Aokigahara's quiet beauty outweighed its infamous reputation.

Read more
Truth and Lye: New perspectives on the brilliance of Len Lye
85816 2018-01-19 00:00:00Z Arts

Truth and Lye: New perspectives on the brilliance …

by Sally Blundell

New essays on New Zealand-born US artist Len Lye elevate him to the status of Australasia’s most notable 20th-century artist.

Read more
Brain activity may hold the secret to helping infertile couples
86046 2018-01-19 00:00:00Z Health

Brain activity may hold the secret to helping infe…

by Nicky Pellegrino

For about a third of infertility cases in New Zealand, there is no obvious reason why seemingly fertile couples struggle to conceive.

Read more
Farewells on the Auckland wharves, captured by photographer John Rykenberg
85964 2018-01-19 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Farewells on the Auckland wharves, captured by pho…

by Frances Walsh

More than one million images from Rykenberg Photography, taken around Auckland, are now in the Auckland Libraries Collection. But who are the people?

Read more
'Termite hell' for Golden Bay man after he woke covered in insects
86027 2018-01-18 11:59:55Z Environment

'Termite hell' for Golden Bay man after he woke co…

by Hamish Cardwell

A Golden Bay man spending his first night in his new house says he woke to find his bed, walls and floor covered in hundreds of creepy crawlies.

Read more
Ten ‘stealth microplastics’ to avoid if you want to save the oceans
86015 2018-01-18 11:18:49Z Environment

Ten ‘stealth microplastics’ to avoid if you want t…

by Sharon George and Deirdre McKay

There's a growing movement to stop the amount of wasteful plastic that goes into our oceans, but what about the tiny bits we can hardly see?

Read more
It's time to chlorinate New Zealand's drinking water
86001 2018-01-18 09:41:15Z Social issues

It's time to chlorinate New Zealand's drinking wat…

by The Listener

The inconvenience to chlorine refuseniks is tiny compared with the risk of more suffering and tragedy from another Havelock North-style contamination.

Read more