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BREXIT: English invention

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Europe cannot talk of anything else...As the Brexit debate starts to build in a deafening crescendo toward the vote itself we here at Bulldog would like to draw your attention to the language of Brexit.....What is Brexit?

Brexit is a curiously English word that has emerged during this debate is made by mixing the words "Britain" and "Exit". English as a language is always inventing new words. The English dictionary is updated with new words or new meanings and uses for words every year. Words are presented to a panel of experts who consider submissions and evidence on the word use or change of use before deciding if it will enter the next edition of the dictionary. This often requires several uses in publications or broadcast that can be referenced and demonstrate a widely understood definition. Brexit will be widely considered as the word of 2016 by most cultural and language observers but it has already found a place in the dictionary because it has been in circulation a lot longer than you would expect.

Brixit was first used in print in an article in the Economist magazine surprisingly, not this year or last year but as early as 2012. In an edition of Bagehot's notebook on British Politics on the 21st June, "The chances of Britain leaving the EU in the next few years are higher than they have ever been. A Brixit looms for several reasons."...

Brexit can be traced to a blog post "Stumbling ever closer to a Brexit" by Peter Wilding on May 15th of the same year.

The structure itself can be traced to the term "Grexit" to refer to the potential of Greece leaving the Eurozone. This word was first published by Ebrahim Rahbari and Willem H. Buiter, economists at Citigroup Inc., in a paper titled "Rising Risks of Greek Euro Area Exit" as early as February the 6th of 2012.

This English habit for invention and a playful approach to language has led to people suggesting potential words for other countries who may have campaigns for leaving the EU and are in need of a catchy word to encapsulate the term....Here are some suggestions, see if you can identify the etymology of these words and which country they refer to...











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