Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day

Thursday word: shambolic

shambolic (sham-BAWL-ik) - adj., (UK) completely disorganized, chaotic.

The quality of being in a shambles -- literally, as this is British slang from the years around 1970 was derived from shambles with a mock-learned suffix (possibly on the pattern of symbolic). Shambles itself dates back to Old English, where it was a borrowing from Latin diminutive of scamnum, bench. There was, as you can see, some evolution of meaning in there. And for a further evolution in meaning, a bonus word:

omnishambles - n., a situation that is bad or mismanaged in every way.

Coined by a script-writer for the TV show The Thick of It in 2009 from Latin omni-, all + shambles. The difference between "The transportation system is shambolic" and "The transportation system is a complete omnishambles" is that in the former you at least have a good chance of arriving at your destination, however late.

Tags: adjective, english, noun, o, s

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