Words including “melt”, “grafting” and “muggy” are among the most influential to have worked their way into the nation’s vocabulary thanks to Love Island, according to the Collins Dictionary.
The popular ITV2 dating reality show – which sees singletons living in a Majorcan villa in an attempt to find love to win £50,000 and is frequently watched by around two million viewers per episode – has inspired audiences to use a new breed of words and phrases.
The Dictionary’s lexicographers have determined the top 10 terms, most of which give modern meanings to commonly-used words such as “shade” and “extra”, that are sweeping the country.
They believe this mix of modern catchphrases has been caused by the combination of islanders from all over the UK, as the current series includes contestants from locations such as Essex, Manchester, Liverpool, London, North Wales and Dumfries.
As well as the geographical impact on the lexicon of the series, the contestants taking part this year are aged between 18 and 31.
Cerys Hughes, spokeswoman for Collins Dictionary, said: “Young people are always at the cutting edge of language change, using existing words and creating new ones as situations demand.
“Putting such a disparate group of enthusiastic and energetic young people into a pressurised social situation as Love Island creates an instant melting pot of language as they each use words and phrases from their own areas, which will be then picked up by others in the villa and, of course, watching at home.”
Collins Dictionary’s experts have said, of the popular Love Island word “melt”: “‘Melt’ in the villa is commonly used as a noun [‘melty’ as an adjective] and is defined as someone acting soppy toward their crush. On Love Island, if someone describes you as a ‘melt’, it’s usually because they think you’re being over-the-top or pathetic.”
“Grafting” has been defined as an informal way to describe “working hard”.
The experts say: “‘Graft’ as an official definition is the act of putting in, like grafting a plant shoot, originating in the late 15th century.
“To ‘graft’ (verb) on the island is pretty true to its roots; if you’re ‘grafting’, you’re working hard to get the romantic attention of your crush – putting in the work to lay the foundations of love.”
Another largely-used word on the programme among its stars is “muggy” or “mugged off”, which has been defined as similar to “pied/pied off” by the Dictionary.
“To be “mugged off” in Majorca is to be treated disrespectfully or deceived by another islander,” the lexicographers say.
“Normally it’ll leave you feeling angry or confrontational, which is probably the cause of most arguments in the villa.
“The word ‘mug’ in its modern form was added to the Collins Dictionary in around the 1970s and derives from the 1855 ‘muggins’, used to describe a fool or a simpleton.”
Along with “shade”, a public show of contempt, and “extra”, being over-dramatic in a situation, the rest of the top 10 is comprised of the terms “sort”, “snakey”, “salty” and “crack on”.