Abadingding The Thing In The Philippines

I love it when a great word comes from an unexpected source. And I really love it when a word is so pleasing on the ear that you find you keep on wanting to use it. Such a word is Abadingding.

Politics is of course fertile territory for neologisms, and the coining of words to encpsulate specific ideas is a vital tool for getting your message across. So it is in the Philippines, where campaigners are trying everything they can think of to fight against rising fuel prices.

The current subject of their ire is parliamentarian Herminida Abad, who is accused by activists of ignoring demands for her to start deliberations on a number of bills which could bring an end to the increases.

And so the gloriously named fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) has coined Abadingding, defining it as “complete refusal to heed the people’s clamour in the hope it will wither away.”

The group is rather good at coining new words, with this effort coming hot on the heels of Noynoying, their tribute to the apparent inertia of President Beningo ‘Noynoy’ Aquino and defined as “doing nothing even if you have something to do”.

Noynoying is already taking physical form in Philippines, with scores of people brazenly sitting around doing nothing in public places to make a point.

Are these words great examples of lexical inventiveness being used effectively in political campaigning? Absolutely. Will they ever cross the borders of the Philippines to receive international lexical acclamation? Probably not.

But just imagine if a leading politician in the UK or the US ever found themselves accused of Noynoying or Abadingding when they failed to deliver on vital legislation. What a colourful linguistic moment that would be.

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