Word: Brexit

Pronunciation: BREKS-ət

Part of Speech: noun

Definition: a term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Source: Oxford Dictionaries

Oh yes, it’s time for some more current events in my Word of the Week segment! The United Kingdom made waves around the world last week with the news that the majority of its population voted “Leave” in the EU referendum that took place on June 23. If you’ve been following the news before and after this event, you may recall seeing a certain portmanteau floating around the headlines. Of course, having such a huge impact on the UK and the entire world, it’s kind of hard not to hear any talk about the “Brexit” right now!

“Brexit” (originally “Brixit”) is a term for the (once hypothetical but now very real) departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The word was coined in 2012 as a blend of the words “British” (or “Britain”) and “exit”. This term probably followed the same pattern as the term “Grexit” (“Greek”/”Greece” + “exit”), which was coined earlier in the same year.

Before the referendum, you may have only started hearing about “Brexit” if you’re into financial news, as the vote to “Leave” would have an especially significant impact on both the UK’s and the global economy. Since it just happened a few days ago (and I’m really terrible about keeping up with political news), there isn’t much else I can contribute to this topic myself, so for your information and entertainment, I refer you instead to John Oliver’s “Brexit” video. On a final note, if you happen to write fiction about up-to-the-minute current events, then I’m sure you can find a good place for the “Brexit” in your stories!

What are your thoughts on this word? Any suggestions for future “Word of the Week” featured words?

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