WEASEL WORDS

The Guardian • WEASEL WORDS

Weasel Words heading Issue #2083

WEASEL WORDS

Antidote Nine’s Rob Harris thought that the news that a Danish prince whose wife used to be Australian is now a king might be “an...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2061

WEASEL WORDS

Vicious No, not the old Lou Reed song. “Vicious” is how how 9 Newspapers describe Paul Keating’s description of Jens Stoltenberg the secretary general of...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2037

WEASEL WORDS

plans (plænz) – we’ve got … Everyone has plans. Like “arguing for,” having plans can be a weaslish way to distract you from a total...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2073

WEASEL WORDS

The centre Simply the half-way point of something, or the job description of a sportsperson who plays near there; ‘the centre’ enters weaseldom when used...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2045

WEASEL WORDS

(special AUKUS edition) Uncomfortable reading / əˈnkmfərtəbəl ˈrdɪŋ/ A lot of weasel words are an attempt to pre-emptively shield something awful from criticism. If something is...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2059

WEASEL WORDS

the job (getting on with) The Labor government doesn’t have time for empty talk, you’ll be surprised to hear. That’s because they are “getting on...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2040

WEASEL WORDS

Restraint (rɪˈstrnt) Our first word comes from the very weasely team at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who would like the government to...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2079

WEASEL WORDS

Independent This shouldn’t be a weasel word. It’s good to be independent, and the Communist Party of Australia supports an independent Australia – kind of...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2085

WEASEL WORDS

Class warfare For people who like pretending that classes and the class system aren’t a thing, Australian centrists and conservatives really like invoking ‘class war’...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2021

WEASEL WORDS

What does it mean to be “resilient”? Is “wellness” a good thing? Well it depends on who you ask in this fortnight’s edition of Weasel...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2063

WEASEL WORDS

Pressure How can “pressure” be a weasel word? Surely there is either pressure or there isn’t. That’s true if we’re talking about car, bike, or...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2067

WEASEL WORDS

Nuclear energy Wait a minute, nuclear is just a thing, isn’t it? How can that be a weasel word? Nuclear energy is a way of...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2035

WEASEL WORDS

TAX tæks/ We all know what a tax is, don’t we? The government needs money, so they take a slice of your salary, or maybe...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2043

SZEL WORDS

Complexities /kəmplˈɛksɪtiz/ Readers who lived in a share house during their student days may remember instant tidying for parties. One top tip for student house-dwellers...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2087

WEASEL WORDS

Brave As if ‘let’s have the conversation’ wasn’t annoying enough, Goldstein MP Zoe Daniels wants the government to be ‘brave’ about changing the tax system....

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2092

WEASEL WORDS

Commitment (strong) So you’ve heard about Australia’s Home Affairs office cancelling visas while Palestinian people were in mid-flight. Some were stranded in Cairo, and one...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2094

WEASEL WORDS

Mainstream Both weaselly and bullying, ‘mainstream’ is used by ‘Advance,’  a far-right lobby group that has never won an election, or fielded candidates, but which...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2025

WEASEL WORDS

Are you an “activist”? Is “stability” a good thing? Who in this society is “shrill”? It depends on who you ask in this Weasel Words!...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2096

WEASEL WORDS

Assault (under) Assault can be physical, verbal, or even financial. The weaselly use happens when someone uses ‘assault’ to describe a thing they just don’t...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2029

WEASEL WORDS

CARBON-NEUTRAL /ˌkɑː.bən ˈnjuː.trəl/ This is a good thing, right? It means that the thing which has been so described at least doesn’t add any more...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2031

WEASEL WORDS

SOVEREIGN /ˈsɒv.ər.ɪn/ A sovereign country, Wikipedia tells us, is “a political entity […] that has supreme legitimate authority over territory.” Unless you’re one of those...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2033

WEASEL WORDS

RESPONSIBLE /rɪˈspɒn.sə.bəl/ A very useful word this one. You can be responsible for something, for example all governments claim to be responsible for good economic...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2071

WEASEL WORDS

Self-made Absolutely nobody is really ‘self-made’. If you think you are, just ask your parents to give you a little talk about the Facts of...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2047

WEASEL WORDS

Warrior /ˈwriər/ (for) What comes to your mind when you hear the word “warrior?” Conan the Barbarian? Boadacea, with cool pagan woad painted on her...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2049

Weasel Words

Hitler (just like) By now, everyone has heard of “Godwin’s law”, an internet saying amounting to this: if you compare someone to Hitler or the...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2017

WEASEL WORDS

Will politicians stop “playing politics”? Do think tanks do any actual “thinking”? How “strong” is Australia? Well it depends on who you ask in this...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2090

WEASEL WORDS

Learning For Home Affairs secretary Stephanie Foster, ‘learning’ is a get-out-of-jail card. Home Affairs twice ordered audits on the wrong company, letting another allegedly crooked...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2023

WEASEL WORDS

BOLD /bəʊld/ A good thing to be! Superman is bold. Action heroes are bold. Used weaselly, “bold” means that a politician is going to do...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2027

WEASEL WORDS

CONTROVERSIAL /ˌkɒn.trəˈvɜː.ʃəl/ You can probably guess the weaselly use of this word. Controversial and controversy are easy to use weaslishly because they’re so open-ended. Strictly...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2098

Soros This is one of the nastiest Weasel Words we’ve ever had. It’s a bloke’s name, specifically a really rich bloke who’s done a lot...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2065

WEASEL WORDS

Worker-centric A British Labour Party shadow trade secretary has said that when Labour gets into power, they’ll get on really well with the Biden administration...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2075

WEASEL WORDS

Risky Michaelia Cash repeatedly described a proposition for Indigenous people to have a democratically elected body that could represent them, aka the Indigenous Voice to...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2077

WEASEL WORDS

Focussed on One of many weasel words designed to avoid questions while sounding active. When a politician is asked why they haven’t done something they’ve...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2015

WEASEL

Are we “piling-on” our politicians? Who has a “mandate” in parliament? Are people “virtue signalling” too much these days? Well it depends on who you...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2019

WEASEL WORDS

Are we really a “judeo-christian” society? Does our society really “empower” us? Well it depends on who you ask in this fortnight’s edition of Weasel...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2053

WEASEL WORDS

Working poor This term comes to us from whatever combination of spin doctor and focus group that gets words into Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s mouth....

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2055

WEASEL WORDS

Speculate (not wanting to) Some words are weasleish not because they are misleading in themselves, but because they are selectively and dishonestly applied. Speculating, in...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2057

WEASEL WORDS

Certainty Like many other weasel words, certainty is used to ask for things it would be impolite to ask for directly. The gas industry are...

Read more
Weasel Words heading Issue #2081

WEASEL WORDS

Exchanges and debates (valuable) Former Australian PM Tony Abbott, always in search of far-right figures to be relevant to, has dropped in on the ‘Danube...

Read more