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Today is another stage in the Grexit crisis — the Greek banking system may collapse, creating a Graccident that pushes the situation over the Gredge without any party having actually made a decision. Then again, the relevant ministries and committees may find a way to kick the can down the road again — another Grextension — thereby keeping the crisis in Grimbo to the point of Grexhaustion and beyond.

In either case, Grexicographers will continue to be able to document morphological Grixtures for some other countries — thus "Britain beware: Brexit could be your Waterloo", Le Monde 6/19/2015; Dan O'Brien, "If Brexit follows Grexit, should we think about Irexit?", The Independent 6/21/2015;  …

But it has yet to be determined, as far as I can tell, what the needed blends will take from most European country names.  Spain is pretty clearly Spexit, and Italy is probably Italexit, but there doesn't seem to be any consensus on formations for Ireland and Portugal, much less what linguistic path to take if we get to the stage where Luxembourg is considering its options.

Thus Peter Bradshaw, "Brexit, Grexit, with the possibility of Spexit. Whose bright idea was this?", The Guardian 6/12/2015:

I was not in the office when Moses toured the world’s newspapers and media organisations with a new stone tablet, saying: “Thou shalt use the ugly and fantastically annoying word Brexit to mean British exit from the EU, and the even more annoying word Grexit to apply to the Greeks, and thou shalt do this with maximum smugness.”  

At first I couldn’t understand why commentators were suddenly talking about some brand of denture adhesive or breakfast cereal in the middle of an article about the EU. But there it is. Brexit. It will not be long before pundits start warning of Portugexit, Spexit and Irelexit. Luxembexit and Cyprexit would be awful. But Frexit and Germexit would be unthinkable. Estonia’s departure would be known by the simple, almost Zen-like term: Exit. Before that, commentators can take to the airwaves, denouncing the Brentry of 1973.

Or Adam Gale, "Is the Greek tragedy reaching its final act?", Management Today 6/15/2015:

The stakes are high for Europe too, as default could well force Greece out of the Euro, doing potentially fatal political damage to the project and opening up the possibility of the ‘contagion’ spreading to other debt-ridden southern European economies. This time next year we could well be talking about Spexit or Portuxit, and no one in Brussels wants that.

So for Ireland, there's at least Irelexit and Irexit in the running. For Portugal, I've seen Portugexit, Portuxit, and Portexit.

But up to this point, I've seen no blends based on sortie, ausgang, uscita, salida, …


  1. yakoumis said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 3:23 am

    hold on.. weren't the British _victorious_ in the Battle of Waterloo? How would that work out?

    [(myl) From the link:

    …on this bicentenary, we feel entitled to call on our British allies to resist the familiar temptation of splendid isolation. The country which cornered Napoleon cannot succumb to Nigel Farage. Today, we solemnly say to our friends across the Channel : beware, Brexit could be your Waterloo ! And to make sure the message is really heard, we have gone as far as to convey it in English. Messieurs les Anglais, don’t let the sirens of a fake independence pull you away from the continent. Just as in 1815, your future is in Europe.

    Get it?]

  2. Jongseong Park said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 3:36 am

    Would Grexodus be too much of a latinism to apply to Greece? What would be the idiomatic Greek equivalent? Hellenexodos/Ellineksodos?

  3. Keith said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 4:25 am

    From the only two terms currently established, the pattern could be to take the word 'exit' and prepend either the first two letters of the country name, or the letters up to the first consonant. Either of this two patterns generates Brexit and Grexit.

    But 'Poexit' and 'Luexit' look strange in English, so I think that the other pattern is better, giving 'Porexit', 'Luxexit', 'Spexit' (already proposed), 'Itexit' and either 'Itexit' or 'Eirexit' depending on what word you want to use for the Irish Republic.

  4. Ben said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 4:33 am

    "Would Grexodus be too much of a latinism to apply to Greece?"

    Sounds perfect, isn't exodus a greek term anyway?

    At any rate, I think it groks the grestalt.

  5. Robert T McQuaid said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 5:28 am

    Good thing Canada is not in the EU. Canexit sounds more like entry than exit.

  6. James said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 5:48 am

    'Exodus' is Greek in origin, but (I thought this was Jongseong Park's point) 'Greek' is Latin.

  7. GH said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 5:49 am

    For Portugal: Lusitexit?

    Unlike Peter Bradshaw, I find "Grexit" and "Brexit" fun to say – nearly to the point where I support the policies on aesthetic grounds – and the need for a compact term for each is evident.

    A lot of these sound almost like Asterix characters. Has there been any nation/people that regularly used names ending in "-it"?

  8. oulenz said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 5:50 am

    @myl yeah that just confirms the analogy is not even wrong, it's non-sensical. There's no aspect of Brexit that corresponds to Napoleon's schemes. If anything, the British were fighting against forced European integration, then and now. What one could say is, _Please Brittain, we need you to stay in the EU to fight against further integration, like we needed you at Waterloo_, but I don't think that's the point Le Monde is trying to make…

  9. qroqqa said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 6:15 am

    This is what we have ISO codes for: Grexit, Gbexit, Esexit, Ptexit, Ieexit, Luexit, Cyexit, Frexit, Deexit. Logical, simple, and usefully unpronounceable.

  10. GH said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 7:08 am

    @ yakoumiz, oulenz:

    Although the British and their allies won at Waterloo, the term has entered the language (even English) from Napoleon's perspective: "A final, crushing defeat," as the American Heritage Dictionary puts it.

  11. Bill Benzon said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 7:29 am

    What about Finland = Fixit? And The Netherlands = Nexit? And then we've got Czexit.

  12. Pflaumbaum said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 7:49 am

    I think for a portmanteau to sound felicitous, it needs to share more letters/sounds than most of these.

    For instance sheeple is good, especially spoken, since it only loses one phoneme between the two words.

    Where you retain most of a longer word it can be a thing of beauty, as in Californication: a transparent, funny coinage, preserving 20 out of 21 letters, about the same in terms of phonemes, depending on your accent.

    But Wikipedia lists chork as a blend of chopstick and fork… that doesn't contain nearly enough of chopstick to cut the mustard (admittedly tricky with any kind of cutlery).

    So Billary and Bennifer work well enough to my eye/ear, and Brangelina is okay.

    Grexit is better than Brexit maybe because it takes half the word orthographically (or at least contains a lot of 'Greco-' in some pronunciations).

    But once you get to Portugaxit or whatever, well that's just rubbish.

    Also seems a bit awkward where there's disruption internal to the word, as in stagflation. Or if its new position changes the ordinary phonetic quality of a letter, as in religulous.

  13. Shadow-Slider said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 7:50 am

    Here is Yes Minister view on why Britain joined the EU

  14. Jarkko Hietaniemi said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 8:03 am

    Finnish euro critics fantasize about Fixit.

  15. Mike said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 9:09 am

    Germany and France being special cases, I'd prefer Frortie and Dausgang.

  16. oulenz said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 9:29 am

    @GH I know, but not just any sort of defeat, it suggests a climactic end to a memorable campaign featuring at least some victories. So it could be apt to describe the final confrontation before the resignation of Thatcher or Blatter as their respective Waterloo. The UK leaving the EU wouldn't be a defeat at all, it would be victory (from the point of view of the majority of voters). So the phrase Le Monde was looking for was Pyrrhic Victory.

  17. raempftl said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 10:43 am

    "Frortie and Dausgang"

    Nice, except a German "Ausgang" is only ever a physical exit.

    For leaving an organization as a member "Austritt" is used. Of course this give us "Graustritt" which would be litterally quite horrid. Graus = horror.

  18. Rodger C said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 11:18 am

  19. Coby Lubliner said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 12:31 pm

    To shift the discussion for a moment from lexicon to semantics: Brexit and Grexit are not analogous. The UK is not in the Eurozone, so the potential exit referred to would be from the EU. This doesn't seem to be the case of the other states discussed.

  20. Jonathan said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 12:37 pm

    My suggestion is to use the verb Portugo, as in "What will happen if Portugoes?".

  21. Pflaumbaum said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 5:13 pm

    @ Roger C –

    What is happening with that guy's /uː/? Sounds like [yː] to me. Is that normal for his accent?

  22. Rodger C said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 6:34 pm

    @Pflaumbaum: Yes, that's a real accent. I discover he was from North Carolina, just as I expected.

  23. Reinhold {Rey} Aman said,

    June 22, 2015 @ 9:58 pm

    @ raempftl

    Nice, except a German "Ausgang" is only ever a physical exit.

    No. Ausgang also means "end," "result," etc.

  24. David Morris said,

    June 23, 2015 @ 6:43 am

    It is an egregious [< e grex] neologism.

  25. Brian said,

    June 23, 2015 @ 9:16 am

    May I humbly suggest, for Spain, the term "Espansalida"? It ambiguously suggests expansion, while describing diminution.

  26. Phil Blasket said,

    June 23, 2015 @ 2:20 pm

    More original for Spain exit would be Espantada, from Spanish "huida precipitada" = bolt,
    flight, fleeing (UK, colloquial) do a runner

  27. Viseguy said,

    June 23, 2015 @ 10:33 pm

    And here I thought it was a Latin verb: grego, gregere, grexi, grectus.

  28. Stephen said,

    June 24, 2015 @ 9:29 am

    "hold on.. weren't the British _victorious_ in the Battle of Waterloo?"

    Well it seems that the French don't like to take such a negative view of this! Napoleon is, at least AFAIUI, quite a big hero in France.

    Belgium (where Waterloo is) wanted to issue a 2Euro coin to commemorate the bicentenary but France vetoed this[1]. But as the veto only applies to 'standard' coins, Belgium has issued a 2.5Euro coin commemorating the bicentenary.

    1. AFAIUI, all Euro coins have a Euro side and a national side and any Eurozone country can veto the national side of any coin to avoid offence being created.

  29. Anthony said,

    June 26, 2015 @ 3:13 pm

    Estonia leaving would be an Eexit, with the double-e pronounced as a long vowel.

  30. Michael Watts said,

    June 26, 2015 @ 5:56 pm

    I nominate Er-out for Ireland's departure.

  31. LC said,

    July 5, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

    During the Greek referendum earlier on today, on Twitter the hashtag #Greferendum got replaced by #Grefenderum and was soon trending worldwide, possibly the first case of global autofail / Cupertino?

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