Jargon or jargoff?

post-truth – an adjective defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’.

This was the Oxford dictionary’s word of the year 2016. Others that made the list were; Brexiteer, hygge and adulting.

As artists we’re saturated with unusual terms and nuanced definitions more than most, wild adjectives, metaphors and poetic descriptions feature in our everyday creative dictionary. Sometimes I just want to say enough with the complicated terms and theories, give it to me in simple English!!

Well unfortunately it looks as though the artybollocks is here to stay. The following list of new art jargon has been compiled by gallerists across the globe, how many of these will feature in your next review or essay?

Word Meaning
Geoturnal Of the land – earthly qualities
Madrasey Dull, dreary and boring
Psodomopliphic Meaningless, trivial
Prieth Superficial
Menolial Despondent, bleak
Gradientious Tonal, textured, tactile
Complementarium Sympathetic, favourable
Paradoxinous Inconsistent, adverse
Shyvescent Hidden meaning, below the surface
Replicentric Consisting of two equal, identical, or similar parts or things
Interprecitous Open to many meanings, ambiguous



  1. Anne Dyke 1 April 2017 at 9:00 am

    Excellent article, essential reading for any OCA student contemplating their nascent zeitgeist.

  2. Barbara Henderson 1 April 2017 at 11:31 am

    Well said, Joanne! I hate pretentious writing.

  3. John Umney 3 April 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I was concerned when my tutor wrote how madrassic my first draft of my dissertation was. I now know I shouldn’t have been overly menolial, especially as he rightly pointed out there was nothing shyvescent about it at all.


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