Reem is a slang word popularised by reality TV actor Joey Essex. It means 'good' or 'cool'. The linguist Tony Thorne was interviewed on yesterday's Radio 4 Today programme (listen to the clip here), as presenter John Humphrys hadn't understood the headline in The Sun, 'The Reem Ticket', which introduced an article giving reality show The Only Way Is Essex stars Joey Essex and Amy Childs' musings on the forthcoming election.
Reem is an all-purpose positive word, said Thorne, in phrases such as 'I feel reem', or 'well reem'. The spelling ream is in the OED, and is defined as 'excellent, of good quality'. Thorne said that ream was a very old dialect word meaning 'cream'. Ream in this sense goes right back to the early Old English period. The OED mentions this link between ream, meaning 'good', and cream as a possibility, too, although it adds that this doesn't tie in particularly well with the original meaning of ream, which was 'genuine'.
Here's the short interview.
Apologies for my long silence between this post and the last one.