From cringe +‎ -ometer (suffix forming the names of measuring devices), possibly modelled after odometer, speedometer, etc.



cringeometer (plural cringeometers)

  1. (humorous, informal) An imaginary device that measures cringeworthiness (the extent to which something makes one cringe; that is, flinch or recoil with embarrassment).
    My cringeometer went off the scale as I watched his excruciating performance.
    • 2011 June 11, “How does Your Dad Rate on the Cringe-O-Meter?”, in NPR[1], archived from the original on 5 February 2016:
      How Does Your Dad Rate On The Cringe-O-Meter? [title]
    • 2014, Dan Walker, “Football and Politics”, in Dan Walker’s Football Thronkersaurus: Football’s Finest Tales, London: Simon & Schuster UK, →ISBN, page 34:
      But he [Gordon Brown] caused serious damage to the cringeometer in the build-up to the 2010 general election when he attacked the Conservative Party with a football chant: [...]
    • 2014 February 15, Mark Anthony Falzon, “A village in tiny Malta”, in Times of Malta[2], Valletta, Malta: Allied Malta Newspapers, OCLC 220797156:
      As the Prime Minister's spokesman put it the other day, this is an occasion for government ministers to "mix with the community" ("jinżlu fil-komunità"). Cringeometers off for a minute, the sleight is fascinating.
    • 2015 April 29, Naomi Gordon, quoting Toby Jones, “Toby Jones on Wayward Pines: ‘The Twist was so Astonishing to Me’”, in Digital Spy[3]:
      Again, with your cringeometer on, it's lucky, there's loads of brilliant actors, to work a lot is fantastic.
    • 2017 July 7, Jack Lang, “Bizarre transfer unveilings have become the Premier League’s latest arms race – so where will it end?”, in The Independent[4], London: Independent News & Media, ISSN 0951-9467, OCLC 750496934, archived from the original on 9 September 2017:
      Not all social-media gimmicks are created equal and doubtless some of these were lapped up by the target audience, with their funny little avatars and chronic misuse of the verb 'to rustle'. The rest of us, though, might need to start recalibrating our cringeometers.
    • 2018 September 5, “The 60 Best TV Shows on Netflix UK”, in Empire[5], London: Bauer Publishing, ISSN 0957-4948, OCLC 1001486823, archived from the original on 3 August 2020:
      If Alpha Papa was your introduction to [Alan] Partridge, you'll be wanting to dig through the Parchives, pronto. (Just make sure cringe-o-meters are set to stun.)
    • 2019 October 19, “Ron Mackenna: Scotland’s newest Michelin star where even the least favourite course is very good”, in The Herald[6], Glasgow: Herald and Times Group, ISSN 0965-9439, OCLC 474316070:
      For some reason my dining companion the Professor will insist on getting the chef out of the kitchen for a selfie at the end of this meal. To a person as socially inept as myself, this is almost as soaringly high on the cringeometer as his insistence on speaking Spanish to the Mexican waitress throughout the evening.
    • 2020 January 23, Teddy Greenstein, “Remember Charlie Hall? The Former Northwestern Walk-on Stars in a New Web Series that Made His Mom Julia Louis-Dreyfus Laugh.”, in Chicago Tribune[7], Chicago, Ill.: Tribune Publishing, ISSN 1085-6706, OCLC 7960243, archived from the original on 26 February 2020:
      The cringe-o-meter peaks during a scene in which a shirtless [Charlie] Hall, well, masters his domain. Hall said he had no issue showing that scene to his mother [Julia Louis-Dreyfus], who played Elaine on "Seinfeld" for nine seasons.

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