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Murraymania also Murray mania or Murray-mania

noun [uncountable]

the condition of being a very enthusiastic supporter of the British tennis player Andy Murray, especially when he is playing at the Wimbledon championships

Murraymaniac also Murray maniac or Murray-maniac

noun [countable]

a very enthusiastic supporter of the British tennis player Andy Murray

'Press kick-off Murray-mania ahead of Wimbledon … Andy Murray had barely hung up his racket after his win at Queen's when the press began depicting him as the player who could – finally – win the men's singles for Britain at Wimbledon.'

AFP 15th June 2009

'Murray maniacs face hefty £1,250 ticket price as quarter final clash sets sales soaring.'

Daily Mail 1st July 2008

On 14th June 2009, British tennis player Andy Murray won the Queen's tennis tournament, the first Briton to do so for 71 years. If the annual outbreak of Murraymania seemed inevitable, like swine flu, it now has the potential to become a 'pandemic'. With each swing of the racket he takes at the Wimbledon championships, the hopes of a nation are pinned on the young man from Glasgow.

the use of the word mania seems to become increasingly appropriate, as the concept of a British winner appears to be an unrealistic, 'crazy' notion

The word Murraymania, referring to the concept of extremely zealous support for Andy Murray, is a seasonal feature of the English language, propagated by the media and 'blooming' prolifically during the Wimbledon championship and in the two weeks or so before it. Tied up in the use of the word is not just support for Andy, but also the aspirational hopes of a nation who haven't seen a British male lift the singles trophy since Fred Perry won the championship in 1936. As the years go by without significant success, the use of the word mania seems to become increasingly appropriate, as the concept of a British winner appears to be an unrealistic, 'crazy' notion.

Or is it? At the risk of sounding like a Murraymaniac (the derivation coined to refer to someone 'suffering' from the condition of Murraymania), the prospects have never looked so good. Murray is only twenty-two, and now ranked number three in the world. He appears to be on good form, unlike one of his main rivals, twenty-three year old reigning champion Rafael Nadal, who is not playing in the championships because of an injury.

Will this be the year? Only time will tell – but time is on Andy's side, and so, along with the words Murraymania and Murraymaniac, in the future there should be plenty of opportunities to re-surface.

Background – Murraymania

The expression Murraymania has made a seasonal appearance for the last two or three years or so, initially sharing the spotlight with its forerunner – Henmania. Likewise referring to extremely zealous support for British tennis player Tim Henman, the term Henmania had an annual outing in English for over a decade, making its first appearance in 1996.

Although Tim Henman did not manage to fulfil public aspirations for a British champion, he was rather more successful in the area of word formation, inspiring tongue-in-cheek expressions such as Timbledon (the Wimbledon championships when Henman is playing) and Tim-O-meter (a kind of measure of Henman's mood and performance). More significantly, he unwittingly renamed Aorangi Park to Henman Hill, a large grassy slope where fans gather to watch matches on a giant television screen. And with Tim's retirement in 2007, came the potential for Murray to be as lexically influential. Just as Henmania has given way to Murraymania, Henman Hill has now become Murray Mound. In the future there'll doubtless be further Andymonium (I should admit that this pun is not my own but is actually already in use. For an example, check out the second article in the Further reading section).

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 24th June 2009.

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