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  1. The Back Pages
10 February 2014


By New Statesman

Set by J Seery

Elbridge Thomas Gerry gave his name to “gerrymandering”. We asked for further terms named after current politicians.

This week’s winners

Well done. Everyone can give themselves an hon mensh. The winners get £20 each, except for Carolyn Thomas-Coxhead, who gets £25 and the Tesco vouchers.

Harmanising: to pursue general and lasting equality by creating pockets of temporary inequity.

Gallowayday: a rare interval within an ongoing performance of comical idiocy.

Andrewmitchelling: to act in a manner likely to make false accusations entirely believable.

Cameronronron: exemplary public relations with respect to a failed product.

To Boris: playing the buffoon in order to conceal ignorance.

Osborneagain: haughty euphoria from eliminating public services under the guise of good housekeeping.

Mike Douse

Merkelling: the purposeful progress through any commercial or financial district of trouser-suited matrons going “shopping” and coming away with bargains.

Lawsology: the science of diminishing the impact of embarrassing claims (for example, about expenses incurred in the course of duty) and coming up smelling of roses.

Mitchellisms: perfectly innocuous words taken (often by common people) as insults.

Morganectomy: the removal of experienced players in any game or sport for questionable reasons.

Rennardisms: memorable lines offered to excuse alleged personal proximity infringements.

Milicule: a smaller version of a perhaps strategically inconspicuous being.

Goveplegia: the state of paralysis created by the proposal of too many ideas and not enough practice.

Milicycle: a tendency for generations of a given family to hold similar views.

Bercovia: an overly renovated area of a city, often inhabited by the nouveau riche, who may present early indications of blairocity (see below).

Blairocity: a talent for self-promotion and generally placing oneself in the headlines to demonstrate 20/20 acumen.

Carolyn Thomas-Coxhead

Cleggless: a condition to be avoided by any Conservative PM not wishing to find himself without a Clegg to stand on.

Giscardiology: a branch of medicine that enables French ex-presidents to survive long after everyone believes them to be dead.

Chiracketeering: a form of skulduggery that ensures that whatever your misdeeds, you won’t end up in prison.

Sarkozyfantutti: a statement of the inviolable principle that to become president of France, you must have a mistress.

Bushwackiness: a form of delusion that causes the sufferer to believe a toothbrush is a weapon of mass destruction.

Romneysia: you’ve forgotten who he was? So has he.

Brian Allgar

Borissimo: to blow one’s trumpet borissimo, play with gay abandon.

Clegging: persistent clinging; as in, “This chewing gum’s clegging to my shoe.”

Faraging: Old English (13th century). The act of stubbing out one’s cigarette on the bare buttocks of a Belgian.

Goval: small, beady-eyed and cannibalistic; as in, “Baroness Morgan came to a goval end.”

Miliband: a tax bracket for Oxbridge graduates; as in, “Are you taxed at the top rate?” “No, I’m in the Miliband.”

Albert Black

To derennard: the act of purifying a person who has allegedly been touched up.

Laws: parliamentary expenses rules that were once supposed to be adhered to.

Patersonite: a chemical for making floods go away.

Cablegram: an out-of-date method of communication.

Warsi: a nasty rash in the armpit.

Bill Thomas

To be a darling: to return to one’s former post at the 11th hour, following the repeated poor performance of one’s replacement. (The latter, once removed, is often said to have “made a massive balls-up”.)

Hollandaise: a term used to describe middle-aged bald men who unfathomably exert an irresistible sexual magnetism over glamorous women.

Clever cleggs: a term likely to come into widespread use from May 2015.

A stella turn: a campaign characterised by daring, fluency of expression and the wholehearted conviction of its leader.

James Coldwell

The next challenge

No 4313 By Leonora Casement

In January, the Guardian ran a headline reading “Social workers need to watch less and do more” above a piece by a social worker on why she welcomed a heated debate about improving the profession. What report would a social worker of today write about a troubled Shakespearian character of your choice?

Max 150 words by 27 February

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