UK public divided over new general election abbreviation: ‘Made me feel sick’

UK pime minister Rishi Sunak outside Number 10 Downing Street

We Brits are well-known for our catchy, tongue-in-cheek abbreviations for just about everything, and with a general election now set for July, the latest moniker is already running wild on social media: ‘genny lex’.

There are so many words we shorten – arguably unnecessarily – that are just part-and-parcel of our hodgepodge language. You grabbing an umbrella? That’s a brolly. Taking your annual leave? You’re off on your holibobs. Having a piece of toast in the morning? That’s brekkie.

Whenever anything odd, unusual or notable happens, the public imagination is quickly enthralled with a silly lcatch-all phrase.

After Latty Flo (lateral flow test), Platty Joobs (platinum jubilee), Statey Funes (state funeral), Corribobs (coronation) and Cozzie Livs (cost-of-living crisis) took social media by storm, it’s no surprise a new term has popped up as shorthand for the general election: Genny Lex.

“Latty flo, platty joobs, statey funes, genny lex, all 10/10 no notes,” one user on X/Twitter wrote.

Another said: “Just heard the term Genny Lex for the first time, which simultaneously made me feel sick and quite impressed me. I love that as a nation we’re keeping this lingy trad going.”

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The term gained traction on social media amid mounting speculation and rumours throughout Wednesday (22 May) that prime minister Rishi Sunak was going to call a snap election.

The conjecture was confirmed at around 5pm when the PM stepped outside Number 10 to make a speech to the nation in the pouring rain, trying to make himself heard over D:Ream’s Labour-adopted Things Can Only Get Better, which was being blasted through loudspeakers by protesters nearby.

During his speech, Sunak said he was “guided by doing right for our country, not what is easy” and took aim at the Labour Party – who, if the polls are right are on course for a landslide victory – by saying: “They have no plan… no bold action, and, as a result, the future can only be uncertain with them.”

The election has been called much sooner than the autumn contest many political commentators and experts – not to mention some MPs – had predicted, and despite the fact it is just six weeks away, some people are already sick of Genny Lex talk.

“Let’s not call it genny lex,” one person urged, while another said: “What the actual hell is genny lex? Stop already.”

Those were followed by: “Genny Lex sounds like a someone who came sixth on Love Island, didn’t get any brand deals and now sells crystals on TikTok live.”

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