Quakes munt language, too

Last updated 07:41 17/06/2012

Relevant offers

Christchurch Earthquake 2011

The garden that love built: 2016 Gardena Gardener of the Year winner announced Woman who pinned her $472k theft on employer on post-quake trauma loses appeal Court throws out $6.5m insurance offer for Henderson property CTV engineer inquiry 'not in public interest' Gap Filler celebrates five years of brightening Christchurch's vacant spaces Earthquake insurer Southern Response sets aside $4m for legal fees Canterbury families tell their stories of quake rebuild Holy Trinity church bells set to ring Lyttelton again Christchurch's 100-day blueprint took 67 days with only 20-odd days of design Leukaemia battle for Christchurch boy who lost his father in February 2011 quake

The Christchurch earthquakes have not only changed the Canterbury landscape, they "munted" the way we speak.

New Zealand Dictionary Centre director Jane Bardsley said several words, including "munted", "majorly munted" and "mega munt", had all been added to the dictionary in the wake of the natural disasters. They had become part of everyday speech rather than being restricted to youth slang, she said.

TV weatherman Jim Hickey used munted to describe a car crushed by bricks, and its popularity was underlined by a simple Google search linking it with earthquake, which returns 80 million hits.

Commemorative T-shirts featured the word, and the dictionary defined it as used to describe severe levels of damage in the earthquakes, and as being used in place of stronger language in the same context.

Bardsley said Kiwis often adopted new words in times of upheaval. She said the New Zealand Dictionary database, which has more than 40,000 words or phrases, was a resource to capture trends within Kiwi speech. 

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times


Special offers
Opinion poll

Which memorial design do you like most?

Memorial Wall with a reflective pond

Table and Chairs

A Green and Peaceful Landscape

Call and Response

Riverside Promenade

A Curved and Inclusive Memorial Wall

Vote Result

Related story: Christchurch earthquake memorial designs unveiled

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content