Greycations and Other Stories

11th February, 2021

Greycations and Other Stories

This week I’m ‘on holiday’.


Except holiday doesn’t seem to be the right word to describe what this week is – half term with the kids, stuck inside, juggling emails, in freezing dark February with only a 1000-piece jigsaw for kicks.


And ‘staycation’ implies holidaying somewhere in the UK other than your home (if only).


We need a whole new word for the whole new world of weirdness we’re in.


So I’ve rebranded my week as a ‘greycation’ – like a holiday except colder and less exciting.


(Other ideas included ‘praycation’, where you pray to be somewhere – anywhere – else.)


I do love made-up words and portmanteaus. In fact, many famous business names were created by splicing together two words:


  • Group + coupon = Groupon
  • Pin + interest = Pinterest
  • Unique + clothing = Uniqlo
  • Microcomputer + software = Microsoft
  • Accent + future = Accenture


But my favourite made-up word of all time is ‘omnishambles’. Made famous by the TV comedy ‘The Thick Of It’, omnishambles ended up becoming the Oxford English Dictionary Word of The Year in 2012.


So, what are you calling time-off at home?

University of Cambridge