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Fri 26 April 2019
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The UK, according to the latest polling, is now chiefly a Remain country. At the opposite end of Brexit spectrum, this week a handful of prominent Leavers performed a swift volte-face and decided to throw their full support behind Prime Minister Theresa May’s contentious Brexit deal.

All that makes the obscure but eminently useful word mentimutation a prime candidate for our inaugural Word of the Week.

Coined in 1650, by English-American pamphleteer Nathaniel Ward, mentimutation is built from the same Latin root as words like mental and mentality (namely Latin mens, ‘mind’), attached somewhat inelegantly to the noun mutation – here used in its earliest and weakest sense of merely ‘a change’ or ‘an alteration’.

Happily, Ward had the foresight not only to coin the mentimutation but also rementimutation (which we can presume refers to a repeated or renewed change of mind), as well as the criminally underused adjective versipellous (meaning ‘changeable’, or ‘having a form that appears to change often’).

And given how swiftly at least one prominent ERGer has abandoned his newly found admiration for Mrs May’s deal, either one of those could have made an equally appropriate choice this week too.

More from this Byline Times investigation:

WORD OF THE WEEK: stratagemous (adj.) consisting of or succeeding by underhand schemes or strategies

, 19 April 2019
consisting of or succeeding by underhand schemes or strategies
Filed under:
Culture Word of the Week Language

WORD OF THE WEEK: poacher-turned-gamekeeper (n.)

, 12 April 2019
Calling out the paralysis that Brexit has wrought upon to our political system, Oborne, the former political editor of the Leave-supporting Telegraph, bravely broke ranks and confessed that now was the time “to take a long deep breath.” And crucially, he admitted that doing so might now entail, “rethinking the Brexit decision altogether.”
Filed under:
Culture Word of the Week Language

WORD OF THE WEEK: expugnancy (n.) conflict, contrariness; mutual opposition of principles

, 5 April 2019
Filed under:
Culture Word of the Week Language

More stories filed under Culture

Battle of the Bucket – So Much Blood Shed over So Little

, 25 April 2019
Tribalism is killing us, wrote Tina Gharavi in our launch issue and Mike Stuchery has a vivid example of this from history.
Filed under:
Culture Stuchbery's Strange Histories History

Crytal Meth Maze: the Truth behind the Myth of Warhol and his Factory

, 23 April 2019
Chis Sullivan searches for impoverished drug-fueled reality in the late Nat Finkelstein's Photography Exhibition, 'In and Out of Warhol’s Orbit' from his past interviews with Nat and the people who knew the the Factory best.
Filed under:
Culture Arts

WORD OF THE WEEK: stratagemous (adj.) consisting of or succeeding by underhand schemes or strategies

, 19 April 2019
consisting of or succeeding by underhand schemes or strategies
Filed under:
Culture Word of the Week Language

Alt-Right Bantz: Satire-Bros and Ho, Ho, Hos…

, 18 April 2019
Katy Brand takes a withering look at Dankula, Benjamin, Batten and Galloway and how comedy seems to have been co-opted by authoritarians.
Filed under:
Culture Satire