‘Word of the Week’ is DYT’s new weekly partnership with author Tim Glynn-Jones. Each week Tim will choose a word, exploring the history behind its meaning, pulling upon an assortment of wry observations on life as well as revealing some surprising historical facts and amusing home truths. This week: Bizbong

Until three days ago there was no such word as bizbong. Now there is. That’s evolution for you.

It’s about time we made up a new word, isn’t it?

Regular readers will be familiar with the story of the word ‘quiz’, purportedly invented by an 18th century Irish theatre owner for a bet, and the portmanteau word ‘chortle’, coined in 1871 by Lewis Carroll in a frenzy of wonderful word inventiveness. “Twas brillig and the slithy toves etc etc.” Soon bizbong will be just as commonplace.

Bizbong evolved from the more traditional method of linguistic evolution, otherwise known as Chinese whispers. It originated as ‘abysmal’, from the Latin ‘abyssus’ (an abyss), spoken hurriedly on Wednesday through a mouthful of plum and misheard by a Yorkshireman, who was eating a milk chocolate Digestive. Heaven knows how many other words in the English language were invented in this way.

So what does bizbong mean? That is yet to be decided. Give it a chance, it’s only just been born. In fact, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to help us determine a definition for this new buzzword. Here’s what you have to do. Use bizbong at least once over the next week, in a meeting, a phone call, a social gathering, even at the football, and see if anyone challenges you on it. If they don’t, make a note of the context in which you used it and report back.

“Our social media campaign’s gone bizbong this week.”

“The CEO’s really dropped a bizbong on this one.”

“Pint of bizbong please, barman.”

Just a few ideas for you. Off you go. When you report back, we can decide what the most apt definition of the word is. And then it will be a word forever and you’ll be part of history.

Like Shakespeare.

The Bard invented all sorts of words, which we use regularly today: arouse, laughable, puking, hobnob… the list goes on. And on. A bit like King Lear. You will read it in amazement. And then you’ll discover that he invented the word amazement too. According to Shakespeare Online, he invented over 1,700 of our common words “by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original”.

But he didn’t come up with bizbong, did he? Oh no. This one’s ours.


Word of the Week is a collaboration between DYT and author Tim Glynne-Jones. Word of the Week began as a weekly blog in 2016. A book of the first 52 words in the series – Word of the Week: Volume One – is available to buy at word-of-the-week.com.

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