Johnson’s new catchphrase is total cringe, but the papers are lapping it up

Boris Johnson DUDE
John Shafthauer

Theresa May became known for meaningless slogans like ‘strong and stable’, ‘Brexit means Brexit’, and ‘let me be clear’. Boris Johnson didn’t seem to be following her down that path, but he’s now come up with an acronym so painful – so cringe – that it makes May look like William Shakespeare.

The wordplay in question? It’s DUDE.

Although the papers have lapped this tripe up, people on Twitter have alternative ideas about what D.U.D.E. should stand for.


Speaking on 23 July, Johnson said:

I know some wag who has already pointed out that ‘deliver, unite, and defeat’ was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign, since unfortunately it spells ‘dud’. But they forgot the final ‘E’ my friends; ‘E’ for energise.

And I say to all the doubters – ‘dude, we are going to energise the country; we’re going to get Brexit done on October 31st; we’re going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of ‘can do’.’

For some reason, Johnson pronounces ‘dude’ as if it’s spelled ‘dyood’. So far, so cringe, right? But several of the papers have lapped this guff up – most of them placing it alongside a picture of him looking like a massive, saluting child whose left arm has locked:

Others that ignored the DUDE stuff still struck a celebratory tone:

The Mail‘s offering is particularly poetic, as thunder storms have racked the UK since the Conservative Party announced Johnson won the leadership race:

But could DUDE have other meanings?


Some people had suggestions about what DUDE should stand for:

Someone suggested Johnson looks like a different sort of dude altogether:

Others highlighted the cringe factor:

In response to lawyer and activist Peter Stefanovic, one person suggested Johnson is using the wrong acronym altogether:


Johnson is going to say a lot of stupid and embarrassing things in his (hopefully short) time as prime minister. But as Jeremy Corbyn pointed out:

We can’t ignore the papers lapping up Johnson’s gabble, but we also can’t let them distract from his actions. It’s up to all of us to ensure Johnson doesn’t just bluff and bluster his way through being PM.

Featured image via Twitter – Channel 4 News

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