Glossary of a shonky flutter: elitist post-poll schmutterings

As the flag referendum fades in favour of more pressing topics, Michael Smythe examines its entrails and extracts new meanings to expand the New Zealand vernacular.

Consistent with Buckminster Fuller’s Law of Precession — which states that every action will generate a side effect at 90 degrees — the 'Great New Zealand Flag Fiasco' has revealed its true tangential purpose: to expand the Kiwi lexicon.

Examples include:

Brooch — A vehicle for subliminally attempting to broach apparellel awareness of symbolism close to the heart of the protagonist — occasionally in the form of royal diamond encrusted jewellery, but more commonly a lapel pin, intended to influence with all the subtlety of a barnstorming All Black flanker.

Consideration Panel — A composite board fabricated from bits and pieces lacking expertise in the discipline they are required to manage in return for a generous consideration — in contrast to those with the relevant yet ignored expertise.

CV Credit — The proposed means of surviving until, hopefully, one day, maybe when fame and fortune finally deliver monetary rewards, paying bills becomes an actual possibility. The concept is usually introduced with the assurance, ‘It will look great on your CV,’ which is code for, ‘We have allocated the entire budget to administration, PR and postage and it never occurred to us that we should actually pay for creative input.’

Design Elite — Most New Zealand designers, and many more with a modicum of aesthetic sensibility — inadvertently elevated by senior minister and principal National Party Strategist, Steven Joyce, who was simply using stock-in-trade name-calling in the hope of minimising the perceived value of professional expertise. See also ‘Joycean’.

Fernacular — A proposed visual language to be implanted in the global consciousness and exclusively associated with New Zealand.

Flaggerblasted — The way many felt about the whole shemozzle. 

Flagmatic — The pragmatic manipulative machine that was meant to automatically deliver the outcome promoted by our unquestionably popular Prime Minister.

Flag poll — The most polarising, and thus clumsy and doomed-to-failure, method of attempting to bring a nation together under a new flag.

Flagrant1. Flagrant: the whiff of something not quite kosher. 2. Flag-grant: $26M.

Flag waiver — Denial of responsibility for anything resembling wasting a great deal of time and money, and then refusing to learn from the experience.

Flegacy — A failed attempt at manufacturing a memorial — as pronounced by John Oliver lampooning the Key-wi accent.

In Flagrante — In the very act of wrongdoing — esp. the flagrant act of misdirecting taxpayer funds, running a predictably unproductive project and distracting attention.

Jack off — To toil relentlessly at releasing the stress of a past relationship that has run its course without seducing participants with the attraction of a satisfying outcome.  

Joycean — Reminiscent of the tweetings of Steven Joyce; usually one-liner sound-bites gratuitously undermining opposition initiatives and loved by lazy media hacks.

Lockwood — A clip-art kitset nation-building system with flaws. Derivation: a pre-cut kitset home-building system with floors.

Pennantance — A feeling of regret for one's sins or misdeeds which have created tapered flagging support.

Schmatta — A rag or other merchandise of low quality — a Yiddish word from the Polish ‘szmata’ meaning ‘rag’. Pronounced ‘shmutter’ which is also the sound of a key player engaging with his heritage while cursing under his breath.

Vexillology — The study of puzzlement and/or exasperation causing poor fiscal health in important areas side-lined in favour of a pole-driven pet project.

World class — A wide-eyed global audience looking, laughing and learning from New Zealand’s costly cock-ups and/or conspiracies.