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The recent facts about the so called Brexit has generated new terms like brexiteer:

  • (politics) Someone who supports Brexit, the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

Wiktionary also mention "brexiter" as an alternative form.

Since they are neologisms I can't find which, between the two, is more commonly used. For example the Macmillan dictionary cites brexiter while the Collins Dictionary cites brexiteer.

Are both forms correct (if so, why) or should I preferably use only one of them?

P.S. Wiktionary also cites "remainiac" as an antonym, but shouldn't it be "remaineer"?

  • 1
    I think the capital letter is advised in Brexiter/or/eer, it is like saying someone is a Londoner or Roman. In fact it is spelt with a capital letter in your links. – Mari-Lou A Jun 25 '16 at 9:59
  • @Mari-LouA - ok, thanks for the suggestion,but why does nobody answers my question? – user067531 Jun 25 '16 at 15:13
  • In my experience, Saturday is always a slow day for asking new questions. Even more so when it's summer; people go out, go to the beach, relax etc... But if you're working that's a different matter, you're already sitting in front of a computer screen, and you can afford to spend a couple of minutes posting. But I think the single greatest factor is that the majority of users on EL&U are not from the UK, the term is limited to Britain, it's new, and I suspect by 2018 nobody will be using or hearing Brexiter every again. – Mari-Lou A Jun 25 '16 at 15:21
  • "Brexiter" sounds more normal to me. "Brexiteer" and "Remainiac" sound like silly joke names. – sumelic Jun 25 '16 at 17:12
  • 1
    ...or perhaps Brexitiot? – David Jun 28 '16 at 21:04
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Dictionary.com defines the suffix -eer:

a noun-forming suffix occurring originally in loanwords from French ( buccaneer; mutineer; pioneer) and productive in the formation of English nouns denoting persons who produce, handle, or are otherwise significantly associated with the referent of the base word ( auctioneer; engineer; mountaineer; pamphleteer); now frequently pejorative ( profiteer; racketeer).

The final note ("now frequently pejorative") may be at play here: new coinages that use -eer in lieu of -er may be an attempt to imply a negative judgment about what is being described. In this case a brexiteer is not merely "one who brexits" but also implies that the coiner of the word considers brexiting to be undesirable.

2

It is too soon to tell which of the two, Brexiter or Brexiteer will become standard, or whether there will be a British-English//American English divide.

Brexiteer appeared in The Washington Post today, Tuesday, June 28th, page A19 in the column by Eugene Robinson:

Meanwhile, the other leading Brexiteer, U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, admitted that Britain won't actually see a savings of hundreds of millions of pounds that could be used to improve the National Health Service.

Brexiteer was also used in the Wall Street Journal on June 27.

Ever since the U.K. voted Thursday to leave the European Union, there’s been no end of commentary, favorable and invidious, comparing the Leave campaign to the anti-establishment wave that swept the GOP this spring. In one respect the comparison is apt. Both the Trumpkins and the Brexiteers aimed their fire at a toothless opponent—and the wrong one to boot.

Robinson and the WSJ are at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

My initial scan suggested that Brexiteer was AmE and Brexiter BrE, but not necessarily, as this headline from a Spectator blog shows:

Brexiteers need to act now, or become the most hated people in history

But the Guardian, as of June 21, preferred Brexiter

Paradoxes of a London Brexiter

As did The Times of Israel on June 27.

Lead Brexiter says no need to rush leaving EU

Brexiters and Brexiteers will fight it out over the next few days or weeks, and may the word with the most panache win. That's Brexiteer, IMO. At this point, dictionaries are worthless on the subject. I'm waiting for The Economist.

protected by Andrew Leach Nov 8 '16 at 21:22

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