History of the English Language

 

 

 

Day 1 - London Olympics Word of the Day

The Olympics are finally here in London, so why don't we celebrate it with some new English words that people are using in relation to the Olympics and you might not be familiar with in the new, mini, SGI series: Olympics Word/Phrase of the Day. Any other difficult words (highlighted in bold) will be explained in the vocabulary glossary at the end of the blog as well.   Day 1: Word of the day is....

OLYMPOMANIA

  When you add "-mania" to the end of another word, like Olympics, then it adds a feeling of "extreme enthusiasm" to the original word.   So this means that the people of London are crazy (in a good way) for the Olympics that are about to start tonight! Yes, tonight! The first popular use of -mania as a suffix (a bit that goes on the end of a word) was probably when The Beatles were incredibly popular in the 60s and when they arrived in the USA, the screaming and devotion of their fans was described as "Beatlemania". Since then, -mania has been added to thousands of words... probably without good reason - cakemania, bikemania, carmania - it sounds good, but it's not really at the same level of Beatlemania, is it? However, with over 60,000 people in Hyde Park all going mental for the lighting of the Olympic Torch (see video below), London's mayor, Boris Johnson possibly gauged the mood correctly when he said there was "Olympomania" in the air.  

  Boris Johnson always says what he feels (as much as is possible for a politician), so you might think that some of his sentiments were a bit politically incorrect, especially if you're French, German, Australian, Spanish or Greek. But the Olympic Games is about competition, isn't it? So right now, maybe a bit of tub-thumping in a patriotic manner is allowed. Maybe.    

Vocabulary Glossary

screaming
a loud, high-pitched cry showing excitement, fear, emotion or pain
to go mental
to be very excited. Synonym of 'to go crazy'
to gauge a/the mood
to judge an atmosphere correctly
sentiment
opinion or feeling
tub-thumping
saying your opinion in a loud and dramatic way
patriotic
showing strong support for your own country
manner
the way in which something is done or happens

   

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