World Economy

Grexit, Grimbo, now Grexhaustion?

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The standoff between Greece and its creditors has spawned another bit of rivalry: the battle among analysts to coin the latest buzzword for the painfully protracted drama.

"There's definitely an element of who can come up with the best word to fit the scenario," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG.

Word play on Greece has been picking up this month. Last week brought the word "Grimbo," or Greece in limbo, coined by a group of Citigroup economists – led by Chief Economist Willem Buiter. They are the same people responsible for the now widely-used "Grexit" term in February 2012, when the idea Greece might leave the euro zone first became a possibility.

On Friday, economists at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch decided they wanted in on the game as well, coining "Grexhaustion."

Read More The Greek crisis has a new buzzword: Grimbo

"There is always a deadline after the final deadline (contributing to the Grexhaustion)," economists Gilles Moec and Ruben Segura-Cayuela wrote, noting that the continual confrontation between Greece and its creditors has had one major casualty: the country's economy.

"Traders have gotten fairly comfortable with the idea of where Greece is, so there's a bit of mocking and complacency," said Weston, who suggested "Gretch" as a potential entrant.

"Outside of the pain clearly evident in Greece, the rest of the world is quite happy to coin these great phrases as long as it doesn't see a pickup in [market] volatility."

The Greece situation remains a Sisyphean mire. Over the weekend, media reports said the country's colorful finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, faced a tough crowd and numerous snubs at a Latvian meeting with his euro zone counterparts. The country is running out of cash and it needs a last tranche of bailout aid in order to meet debt repayments and to pay its domestic wages and pension bill this month.

On Monday, Greece revamped its negotiating team, taking Varoufakis off the field and tapping Deputy Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, an economist well liked by officials representing creditors, as coordinator.

Read More Greece facing 'Lehman moment' as debt costs soar

Fresh entrants to the Greek vocabulary one-upsmanship are likely already lurking in the wings.

"I'm sure it'll get worse as the days go by," said Richard Jerram, chief economist at Bank of Singapore, noting that the first two letters of the country's name lend themselves well to word play.

"A lot of countries couldn't really do that," Jerram noted, although he added that he finds other vocabulary plays more amusing than the ones that involve just "shoving 'Gr' in front," such as "Acropolis Now," a play on the movie title "Apocalypse Now."

"You can [use the wordplay to] distract yourself from what's a pretty horrible problem if you happen to be Greece," Jerram said.

Indeed, Weston noted that if the Greece standoff leads to the country defaulting with the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, there will likely be "major changes in word-smithing."

--Holly Ellyatt contributed to this article.

—By CNBC.Com's Leslie Shaffer; Follow her on Twitter @LeslieShaffer1