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December 7, 2019

I might give the impression here sometimes that all I do is complain about language usage when it’s not what I’m used to; that I resist neologisms, linguistic innovation and change. Well, that’s not true. Today I want to appreciate the word worldie, used by football commentators to mean ‘world-class piece of play’. Today I heard a commentator say that Harry Kane had scored two worldies for Spurs (while Son had scored an ‘out-of-this universe’ goal). When the word was first coined it was mostly used to describe saves, but obviously it can now mean goals too, and I suppose by extension passes, tackles, interceptions and so on.

Why do I like it? I like it because it has a sort of friendly, jokey air to it. It’s funny. There’s something endearingly childlike about it. I also like it because it’s intuitive. I didn’t need to have it explained the first time I heard it, even though understanding ‘world-class save’ from the single word worldie might seem a bit of a stretch

Of course I like it even more when it’s applied to the exploits of Spurs players.

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