LOVE Islanders copy each other’s language because they are cut off from the world, says a linguistics expert.
Fans of the ITV reality show have mocked contestants for always saying: “It is what it is.”
5 Surfer girl Lucie has coined the term ‘bev’ and is using it to describe the attractive boys in the villaCredit: Rex Features
In previous seasons phrases such as ‘My type on paper’ have been constantly used. The famous ‘I’m loyal babes’ was coined by Georgia Steel.
This season, surfer girl Lucie has overused the word ‘Bev’ – to mean an attractive person.
Other Love Island watch words in past series have included ‘Melt’, ‘Muggy’, ‘Graft’ and ‘Factor 50 thick.’
Linguist Tony Thorne of King’s College London says the popular ITV show is the perfect breeding ground for slang.
5 2018 contestant Georgia Steel became famous for her overused saying ‘I’m loyal babes’Credit: Splash News
“All slang begins in very restricted environments,” he said “Within so-called in-groups and peer groups – and escapes into a wider public if it’s seen as especially topical.”
Love Island contestants have no access to the outside world, cannot read books or go on the internet.
Mr Thorne – who has been on the BBC – added: “In a closed environment and intense atmosphere within a small group, where display and competition and accelerated emotional bonding is happening, this mimicking and spreading of key language will happen quickly.
“But will probably only involve a small range of words, as the activities open to the small group is limited.
5 The phrase of Love Island 2019 so far seems to be ‘It is what it is’ – almost all the Islanders have used itCredit: Rex Features
“The words will describe heightened, strong feelings and drama such as being dumped, being praised or mocked, jealousy.”
Mr Thorne – who wrote the Dictionary of Contemporary Slang – continued: “The Love Island language is a mixture of working class slang – ‘Mug off’, ‘Pie off’ – multiethnic youth slang – ‘Extra’, ‘Salty’, ‘Vulgar’ – and colloquialisms such as ‘Stick it on.’
He explained that slang terms and phrases can be spread due to popular people being copied.
“The way slang spreads through society is mysterious and difficult to track, but it does involve imitation.
5 Samira Mighty from last year’s season took to Twitter to express her annoyance at the term ‘bev’Credit: Rex Features
“Speakers hear new words associated with a fashionable person, group or activity and copy it.
“Slang is also used to bond, indicate empathy, to show that one is fashionable and to create an identity or show allegiance to a group.
“So using these Love Island expressions ‘Melt’, ‘Muggy’, ‘Bev’, ‘Salty’ is a way for the participants – and the viewers and fans – to belong.”
He added: “Studies have shown that the less educated a speaker is the more they imitate the speech of those around them, and the more extrovert they are the more they copy others to win their approval and praise.”
5 Linguist Tony Thorne says Love Island is a breeding ground for slang words and phrases
As the series continues more slang is likely to be created, but fans are already frustrated at ‘It is what it is’.
On Twitter Mea wrote: “Me hearing ‘It is what it is init’ for the 57th time this episode.”
Lauryn Sheehan said: “Instead of ‘I’m loyal babe’ this year it’s going to be ‘It is what it is’.”
And former contestants are starting to get annoyed at surfer Lucie’s use of the word bev.
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Kady McDermott, from series two, tweeted: “What’s this bev thing I keep seeing? I thought bev was a drink?”
Samira Mighty, from the previous series, commented: “Beg you … that bev word, I beg you … let’s just stop.”
Love Island 2019 contestants try to get their own catchphrases going so expect to hear ‘Bev’ and ‘It is what it is’ a lot