September 11, 2019 / 11:51 AM / a month ago

French literati ponder 'brexit' dictionary entry

FILE PHOTO: A pro-Brexit supporter is seen outside Parliament in London, Britain, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

PARIS (Reuters) - French literary types aghast at the political turmoil engulfing Britain as it seeks to leave the European Union launched a tongue-in-cheek Twitter campaign on Wednesday to add ‘Brexit’ to the national lexicon.

French commentator Bernard Pivot’s proposed dictionary entry for “brexit”, as a common noun with a small “b” describing an insoluble mess, was re-tweeted 2,700 times within six hours.

“It would signify a cacophonous and insoluble debate or a shambolic meeting,” wrote Pivot, chairman of the panel that awards France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize for fiction.

The term might even replace “bordel”, as several of his followers suggested - a word of similar metaphorical meaning but which literally designates a brothel. Exasperated compatriots would then exclaim “Quel brexit!” instead of “Quel bordel!”

“Excellent,” another replied approvingly. “More violent and less vulgar.”

Reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by Richard Lough and Gareth Jones

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