The Devil Has All the Best Tunes: An Investigation of the Lexical Phenomenon of Brexit

Lesley Jeffries, Daniel McIntyre

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the linguistic issues inherent in how the Leave and Remain campaigns were promoted in the UK’s 2016 referendum on whether Britain should remain a member of or leave the European Union. Specifically, it is argued that the linguistic creativity in the label ‘Brexit’ was beneficial to campaigners in favour of Britain leaving the EU. The chapter presents analyses of the morphological structure of the term ‘Brexit’, its competitor term ‘Bremain’ and the related terms coined to describe adherents of both the Leave and Remain positions. It then moves on to discuss usage of the term ‘Brexit’ particularly, taking a corpus-based approach to examining its function and ideological effects in context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Language, Text and Context
Subtitle of host publicationInterdisciplinary Research in Stylistics in Honour of Michael Toolan
EditorsRuth Page, Beatrix Busse, Nina Nørgaard
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781351183222
ISBN (Print)9780815395768, 9780367586850
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Rhetoric and Stylistics


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