The Hot Word blog has nominated the above as their word of the year, one that sums up the mood of 2011, and I have to say I agree with them.

It means: ‘to change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate‘.

This seems about right where our bankers, economists and politicians are concerned, particularly the latter.

Nothing illustrates this better than George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on the state of the nation’s piggy bank on Tuesday.

Plan A is bang on track apparently, apart from having to borrow gazillions more from the bank manager than he originally intended, making twice as many public servants redundant than previously announced and bringing forward the raising of the retirement age.

Other than those few minor hiccups, it is all systems go for the economy.

But he did tergiversate by announcing that hundreds of millions would be spent on transport and housing infrastructure to boost the building industry. Wasn’t that originally part of Labour’s recovery plan, the one he criticised, saying you can’t spend your way out of a recession?

Of course, none of this was his fault. It is those unruly foreign economies that has the world on its uppers and there is nothing he can do about that.

Again, I seem to recall that Labour said the same thing during the last election and Cameron and Osborne cornered Gordon Brown in the playground and gave him a good kicking over it.

‘It’s not the world economy (biff) it’s you (slap) Fatty Brown! You were a rubbish chancellor (thump) and you’re a rubbisher PM (smack)’

A clear case of tergiversation all round if you ask me.

In case you’re wondering, tergiversate is derived from the Latin word ‘vertere‘, meaning to turn, and shares a root with the words ‘verse‘ and ‘versus‘.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

6 comments… Add yours
  • John 1st December 2011

    When politicians open their mouths to speak…all I hear is


  • Roger Green 1st December 2011

    Or the various polls of Republicans, with no fewer than five different ABR (Anyone But Romney) leading candidates.

  • Mr Parrot 1st December 2011

    I heard yesterday that 20% of Americans would not vote for Romney solely for the reason that he is a Mormon. Odd that some should think that being God-fearing should debar you from office.

  • Roger Green 1st December 2011

    SP- Re: Romney – wrong version of God.

  • Jay from The Depp Effect 2nd December 2011

    Oooh, new word! New word!! How I love new words. Tergiversate … what a splendid word it is, and how very appropriate to our Beloved Leaders (whatever colour they are, as you so rightly point out).

    One has to wonder; if I went and stood in the public gallery at the House of Commons and, in the middle of a particularly heated debate, leaned over and yelled ‘TERGIVERSATERS!!!’ (just supposing there wasn’t a pane of bullet proof glass in the way), how many of them would know what it meant?

    Wouldn’t you just love to do it?

  • Roger Green 2nd December 2011


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