There are a number of reasons to be grateful for The Only Way is Essex.

TOWIE provides light entertainment, has us appreciating our own accents, creates love-triangles we didn’t deem possible in the human world and, of course, gave us Joey Essex.

However, out of all the reality TV shows, from Geordie Shore to Made in Chelsea, TOWIE has provided more words that have unintentionally slipped into everyday U.K chitter-chatter.

If you know what I mean.

You’re going to hate to admit it, but you’ve probably used a term that started its trend in Essex.

One of these…

1. Muggy

You probably think that “muggy” started its trend during the hugely popular 2017 Love Island.


Runner-up Chris Hughes slapped the phrase onto Mike Thalassitis, spawning him with the new title of “Muggy Mike”.

In a sentence: “Nah that is well out of order, like proper muggy.”

But, let’s not forget that Mike is from Essex, and terms ranging from mug to muggy were being passed around TOWIE since the early 2000’s.

So who’s the muggy one now … probably still Mike.

2. Reem

It rapidly moved in and out of fashion but take a time capsule to 2005 and Joey Essex was using the word reem for every possible occasion.

In a sentence: “Got my watch on, fresh haircut – looking reem.”

Used to describe anything from his hair to the latest fashion trend, Joey saw ‘reem’ sweep the nation.

Kind of.

3. Sort

Perhaps you’ve wriggled the word ‘sort’ into a conversation just to see how your friends react, or perhaps you’ve Googled variations of ‘sort’, ‘salt’ and ‘sought’ because you can’t quite work out what these Essex folk are saying.

It’s one or the other.

In a sentence: “Mate, that girl is fit. Right little sort.”

‘Sort’ has been used to describe someone physically attractive for a couple of years now, and it has even managed to develop into ‘salt’ through the cockney accent.


4. Vajazzle

Perhaps – and hopefully – this is the term that most of us have not found regularly popping up in our daily language.

First coined by Amy Childs in the 2010 TOWIE season, the term has significantly died down since.

In a sentence: “What shall we get her for Christmas? A vajazzle?”

There isn’t one mention of vajazzles in series 22 so far … not that we’re complaining.

5. Weapon

Another term pretty much meaning the same thing, a ‘sort’ and a ‘weapon’ must be considered pretty damn similar when it comes to the Essex vocabulary.

There’s a lot of terminology for attractive girls, believe it or not.

In a sentence: “Look at her body, that is unreal – absolute weapon.”

Weapon has even developed into its own niche, as we have ‘wepskini’ for when somebody is both attractive and wearing a bikini.

6. Jel

Arguably the most common term to take over the lives of teenagers, jel has officially replaced jealous for lazy youths across the nation.

In a sentence: “Yeah, we were seeing each other for like three month, don’t be so jel.”

7. Glamping

Around the same time that The Only Way is Essex gave us vajazzling, it also gave us glamping, the hybrid of glamorous and camping.

In a sentence: “Pack the wellies and champers Barbara, we’re going glamping.”

Over the past eight years, the term has really taken off, with festivals across the country now offering ‘glamping’ experiences instead of what was previously known as a ‘tent with showers and stuff’.


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