History of the English Language

 

 

 

Olympic Word of the Day: Bonkers

The Olympics are in full swing now in London. We will highlight a word that is being used in relation to the Olympics everyday that you might not know. More difficult words (written in bold) in the article are explained in the vocabulary glossary at the end of the blog.   Day 3: Word of the day is....

BONKERS

  Bonkers - mad; crazy; Example: The noise from the neighbours is driving me bonkers   The strict definition is crazy, but it can mean crazy in a good or humorous way. For instance, you could say "When the band played their most famous number the crowd went bonkers"... and this has a very positive feeling of excitement and joy.     The opening ceremony was described in the media as bonkers and also madcap and surreal. Well, yes it was a bit unusual and out of the norm for these kind of opening ceremonies, but after the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the typical show of choreographing large crowds couldn't be improved upon or made any more impressive/bigger, so maybe the only option was to go for this type of theatre/musical production. Plus, in 2007 when London won the bid for the Olympics, the world economy was in boom times. Since then of course, the global economic crisis has hit and public money has been hard to come by. So, actually I was amazed that this show was put on with a budget of only £27 million. What I was afraid of was that there would be some embarrasing technical problem or even a terrorist incident, so the fact that it went off without a hitch was a big plus for me. Anyway there was lots of unique Britishness on show and self-deprecating humour, which is a big part of the British character. What about The Queen jumping out of a helicopter with James Bond and Mr Bean playing with the orchestra? Quite funny at points.  

  But what's your opinion? Was it full of references that were too difficult to understand? Was it enjoyable? Did you have a favourite moment?    

Vocabulary Glossary

madcap
crazy, but with a flavour of amusing and eccentric too
surreal
strange, bizzare
out of the norm
unusual, not normal
to be hard to come by
difficult to find
boom times
a period of economic growth and prosperity
to go off without a hitch
to be perfect without any problems

   

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