9 Words Invented by TV Shows ...

By Holly

These words invented by TV shows continue to shoot to popularity, with some of them now even appearing in the Oxford English Dictionary! TV shows are a part of so many people’s lives, and it is really interesting to see how our language has adapted and changed due to them. How many of these words invented by TV shows did you know of?

1 Omnishambles

Omnishambles Kicking off this list of words invented by TV shows is one that comes from the hilarious BBC political comedy, The Thick of It. ‘Omnishambles’ refers to a situation which is a complete shambles, no matter which way you look at it - a state of total chaos. After its use in 2012, the Oxford English Dictionary named it the Word of the Year in 2013 and included it in all of the dictionary’s online editions.

2 Muppet

Muppet The word ‘muppet,’ which is what the puppets that are the creation of Jim Henson are called, is stated to be a mashup of the words 'marionette' and 'puppet.' The Muppets have appeared on many shows, such as The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, and even have several movies in their name.

3 Khaleesi

Khaleesi Here’s one for all you Game of Thrones lovers! The Dothraki language is a completely fictional language created by David J. Peterson, based on the language mentioned in George R. R. Martin’s novels. ‘Khaleesi’ means ‘ruler,’ and is possibly the most well-known word in the Dothraki language. 146 newborn girls were called Khaleesi in 2012, following the TV show’s popularity.

4 Platonish

Platonish This word comes from the oh-so-popular comedy show, How I Met Your Mother. Essentially, a relationship that is called ‘platonish’ is one in which the two people in question pretend to have no sexual chemistry together. Basically, this word is just asking to be used in some adorable fanfiction!

5 Cromulent

Cromulent This word relies upon the use of sarcasm to make its point. The word means legitimate, or true, but it is used ironically, so that it means the opposite. For example, “Your opinions are perfectly cromulent” would mean that your opinions are, in fact, completely ridiculous. This word was invented by The Simpsons in the episode ‘Lisa the Iconoclast.’

6 Vajazzle

Vajazzle This is one word that, perhaps, just should not have become popular. To ‘vajazzle’ is to decorate your, ahem, vagina with glitter and crystals to make it look fabulous. Yes, really. This word was supposedly created by Jennifer Love Hewitt after she mentioned it on Lopez Tonight, but it really gained recognition when it was referred to on the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex.

7 Truthiness

Truthiness Coined by Stephen Colbert on his satire program The Colbert Report, 'truthiness' refers to the “truth” that someone says they know intuitively, without the presence of facts, evidence or logic. Essentially, it is a gut instinct that someone interprets to be true. After Stephen adopted this word on his show, it has spread rapidly around the world and it is now regarded as a real term.

8 Tanorexic

Tanorexic Oh, how we love the Jersey Shore crew. They first coined this word, which refers to someone who simply cannot tan dark enough. Now this word is used widely to describe a true obsession with either fake tanning or sun tanning, to the point of unhealthiness.

9 Dalek

Dalek This is another made-up word which now appears in the Oxford English Dictionary! ‘Dalek,’ a word made up by Terry Nation, refers to the terrifying robot-like monster from the old (and new!) classic, Doctor Who. Terry Nation can’t believe his luck, saying “Not only had I created a monster, I had created a word. What writer could ask for more?”

Because of their overwhelming popularity, TV shows can easily influence the language we use, whether we realise it or not. I am interested to know - have you heard any of these words used in everyday language? What other words do you know that were made up by TV shows?

Please rate this article