When did the word Remainiac first appear? I have researched extensively but not found a satisfactory answer.
The earliest uses I can find (in terms of Brexit) are from articles in the Mail Online dated 12th June 2016
"Though no Remainiac, I will vote in. After all, membership of the EU is like marriage."
and 12th July 2016.
"The details of our EU withdrawal remain uncertain but her refrain was a message to Remainiac EU-ostriches that they should forget about any second referendum."
There is also a little known music band called 'Ashes Remain' this is the earliest use I can find of the word anywhere (see here) but this usage has nothing to do with the EU.
It looks like it is a neologism from the recent Brexit issue:
- (Britain, politics, slang, derogatory, neologism) One who opposes the idea of Brexit and wishes the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union.
The following is probably one of the earliest documented usages;
- 2016 June 11, “RACHEL JOHNSON: Just stop picking on my big brother! (But, sorry Boris, I'm still voting In)”, in The Daily Mail: Though no Remainiac, I will vote in.
Note that the Brexit has originated a fair number of neologisms, the latest of which is probably "brexcuse" :
- Brexcuses: A crib sheet for shifting blame if Brexit goes bad. (FT)
The earliest instance with reference to the British EU exit vote found with a search on Google News, is in a 10 Jun 2016 comment on the 9 Jun 2016 article "Have you got a humming-bird hawk-moth in your garden?" (Daily Echo):
Ophilum 3:49pm Fri 10 Jun 16
Corbyns been seen with a orange snot rag on his head is this a bad omen for the Remainiac side. Hope so. BREXIT.
The comment is scarcely on-topic for the article, and the term was in colloquial use prior to its appearance in the popular press. For example, this 16 Apr 2016 use in a comment on the "Combined EU Referendum thread" on the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE ("the UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website"):
I note that today a tactic of the Remainiac Twitter battalion is to liken Boris Johnson to Donald Trump.
MARSHALVAUBAN, Apr 16, 2016
The use on this site might suggest that the term originated as (British) military slang. However, an earlier use is in a post on the UKIP (UK Independence Party) Herefordshire Facebook site dated March 16, 2016, where the term is defined:
March 16 ·
Remainiac (noun). Definition: a deluded individual who wrongly believes that somehow life could be better by staying in a corrupt European Union. This belief may be the result of excessive watching of biased BBC output, bribery from the receipt of EU grants (recycled British money) or straight forward treachary.
By this evidence, the term might have originated as a political contrivance of the ilk made so familiar of late by Trump's nauseating, childish name-calling.
As a practical matter, the term must postdate its progenitor, 'Brexit', the origin of which Oxford Dictionaries gives as 2012:
2012 (as Brixit): blend of British (or Britain) and exit, probably on the pattern of Grexit (coined earlier in the same year).
(From "Brexit", Oxford Dictionaries.)
However, in 2012, Brexit (or Brixit, as it was then called) was considered a serious possibility by very few:
Few predicted that Cameron would be re-elected last year, and, accordingly, didn’t take seriously the prospect of a British referendum on the U.K.’s EU membership. But his narrow victory in May 2015 put it back on the agenda.
This does not rule out an origin in colloquial usage between 2012 and 2015.
General Google search results are so polluted by instances of 'Remainiac' on sites with StackExchange feeds where this question has appeared, an original use is not readily pinned down. The earliest use I've been able to isolate so far was as a Twitter hashtag created 18 Feb 2016. The use on AARSE (above) apparently references the use as a hashtag:
52% Leave Bulldog
@jongaunt This professor geezer seems none too bright. Does he really think the Germans will do what we ask???
3:24 AM - 18 Feb 2016