The tabloid art of the ‘knobbly monster’

Here be monsters, knobbly monsters. A ‘knobbly monster’ is tabloid newsroom slang for that tricky second reference in copy to your subject when you’ve already used the obvious or only word for it. The term originated, so the story goes, in the late nineties or early 2000s when a quite possibly well-refreshed Sun hack was working on a sensational account of a fatal crocodile attack. By his fourth or fifth paragraph he was groping for an alternative way of describing his deadly protagonist. He settled on describing it as ‘a knobbly monster’. And a legend was born. The golden greats from the high period of the oeuvre include: Advent calendars: