Four more words of the year

by Jessie K on November 13, 2012

Oxford University Press — publishers of the Oxford dictionary — has declared “omnishambles” as their British word of the year, meaning “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations;” e.g. “The Eurozone is in an omnishambles.”

For the American word of the year, Oxford selected “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet. They opted to recognize this once techy noun for making the leap to verb, glorious verb, as in, “Did you see Romney gif it up at the RNC?” (For a hilarious glossary of GIFs, go here).

I have four more words that haven’t yet made the dictionary, but should…

1. GRIPTION. A mix of grip and friction. As in, “I can’t get enough gription on this sealed canning lid.”  This one was invented by our friend Grigg.

2. GROOBLE. An enticing crumb or piece of food left over on a plate. As in, “there’s a grooble of chocolate cake here if you want it.” Invented by my friend Eric’s mom. Eric explained this word to me in the 90s and I’ve been using it ever since…especially now that I am a mom. Toddlers and groobles go hand in hand.

3. SNICKLE. Related to grooble — a small bite of something. As in, “Can I have a snickle of that chocolate cake?” Also invented by my friend Eric’s mom and commonly heard in my house.

4. OPTICAL DELUSION. Characterized by visually perceived images that differ from reality and sanity; seeing things as you want them to be, not as they really are.  As in, “Is that super model making eyes at me?” “Please. You’re having another one of your optical delusions.”

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane November 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm


I love omnishambles! I hadn’t heard it before but I can easily see that it will soon become overused in my life. At this very moment I am sitting at a desk that is in omnishambles. Thank you!

Sandy November 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm


That is the best they can come up with “gif”? This country is in an omnishambles if “gif” is the word that most represents our year. That isn’t even a word! We are lost.

Jessie K November 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm


I know! Its so weak! Guess it was the stodgy Oxford folks’ way of sticking it to us poor dumb acronym-witted Americans. But oh how I do love a good gif. Gets me every time.

jodi November 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm


Hey, we use the word gription, too! (with the same meaning) I just learned a new word today: tosh. It’s a British term for rubbish or nonsense… I think I’ll give it a try, I like it.

Laura November 14, 2012 at 10:51 am


I see “snool” didn’t make your cut.

Jessie K November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am


I forgot about snool! What does it mean again?

Laura November 15, 2012 at 10:46 am


snool: that lovely combination of snot and drool that leaks from a child’s face during cold/allergy season, as in “If Helen wipes her snool on my hand-wash-only sweater one more time, I am going to start forcing antihistamines down her throat at night while she’s sleeping.

Jessie K November 15, 2012 at 11:37 am


Appetizing! Thanks, Laura!

Laura November 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm


sorry to gross you out, trying to keep it clean

Lin November 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm


For making new words, NOBODY beats Frankie, from “The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks”, awesome YA.
Thanks for a great place to get inspiration from, even though I live half a world away (from the part of the world that knows that the only champagne cames from…well Champagne. No, I don’t live in France, much farther north. And real champagne is expensive here too, sadly. Yay for sparkling wine!).

Jay Blockhead August 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm


Double-check the etymology of “gription.” Jesse Ventura used it on the “Record Breakers” slot car racing show in 1989. Not sure if it preceded that usage.

AMp November 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm


Gription is essentially the same thing as traction and is a combination of grip & traction (not grip & friction).

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