01 November 2010

Words used only by journalists

  • Amanuensis
  • Associated with/linked to (could mean anything really, A associated/linked with B however tenuously)
  • Bandwagon
  • Blogosphere
  • Blogotariat
  • Brushed off (you can brush off a journalist, but that doesn't necessarily mean you've addressed the issue. Usually refers to the point at which a journalist gave up on getting information)
  • Bumper (meaning 'large')
  • Crashed through the barrier/Crashed out of (initially an attempt at creating excitement on normal movements of events, now a cliché you have to fight in order to make sense of the story)
  • Dearth (opp. of 'Windfall', see below)
  • Doyen(ne), n. journalist who's been in Canberra so long that they no longer understand what's going on, can't relate to anyone outside Canberra or who doesn't think parliamentary politics matters much
  • Estranged
  • Languishing (meaning being at a disadvantage, rather than relaxing)
  • Mantle (a disguise)
  • Offing, in the
  • Pooch (dog, usually preceded by 'lovable' or 'pampered')
  • Punters (not referring to people placing bets, but letting slip that you have no idea what people think other than cod extrapolation of polling stats)
  • Scourge (used to refer to torture, now any kind of annoyance)
  • Slugged (ref. to levying taxes, not to actual assault)
  • Tightlipped
  • Tome (book)
  • Windfall

  • To cruel (to limit one's chances)
  • To debunk
  • To don (wear; when used with 'mantle', means adopting a position, or moving to - see below)
  • To hold talks
  • To jet (maybe this would have some allure when few, wealthy people travelled by a jet-powered aeroplane, but since the 1980s it's just silly)
  • To laud (seriously, have you ever heard anyone say I laud that)
  • To move to (to act but not necessarily succeed, e.g. 'IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen has moved to appease Woodside residents')
  • To pen (to use the pen to write with, or even to produce written material without a pen)
  • To re-sign (opp. of 'resign')
  • To sport (see 'to don')
  • To upbraid

More ...


  1. This is horrible, Andrew. This is the worst set of phrases ever collated.

  2. Any edition of any paper will have worse.

  3. congratulations on your Wonkley nomination, well deserved.

  4. "To opine" used every morning in the Oz's Capital Circle email drives me fucking nuts

  5. Thankee, Mr Shankly.

    Me too, Sandy, which is why I swear off it.

  6. Also, "restive" as in "Thailand's restive south", and "slam" to indicate that the opposition has simply disagreed with the government.

  7. Bravo, NWN: I forgot 'hit back' as a journosphere for 'responded'

  8. You can add "garner" to that list. Plus, "tome" is usually preceded with "weighty".