A while back, I wrote something about how Merriam-Webster had called “refudiate” the word of the summer.
Now, the venerable Oxford American Dictionary has declared it the word of the year.
“Refudiate,” as everyone probably knows by now, is a word coined by Sarah Palin, who I think hosts a hunting show on TLC.
It’s also a word dictionary editors like to bandy about when they’re trying to get some “earned media,” which is a nice way of saying “free publicity.”
Anyway, the editors of the Oxford American Dictionary also released a list of runners-up for word of the year:
- Bankster, which sounds new but, according to Oxford, has been around since the 1930’s. It’s a mash-up of banker and gangster.
- Crowdsourcing, which is when you get a lot of people to work on a specific problem.
- Double-dip, meaning to dip twice.
- Gleek, meaning a “Glee” geek.
- Nom nom, which is what Cookie Monster says when he eats. It’s also become an exclamation for good food, the same as “yummy.””Nom-nom,” with a hyphen, is the verb sense of the word, while “nom-nommy” is descriptive of delicious food. I’m not making this up.
- Retweet, meaning to tweet twice.
- Tea Party, which everyone’s heard about, so there’s no sense in discussing it.
- Top kill, which is a procedure to seal a leaking oil well. It’s a reference to a big news story most Americans have probably already forgotten about, sad to say.
- Vuvuzela, up which is the place I’d like to shove those stupid plastic horns that made the World Cup nearly unwatchable. (The World Cup is another big news story that most Americans have probably already forgotten about, sad to say.)
- Webisode, a Web-only TV episode.
Oxford’s list seems a lot slangier than Merriam-Webster’s. (Seriously, “nom nom”?) Other than “refudiate,” Merriam-Webster’s list was made up of real words such as “austerity” and “frugal” that had been in the news.
Still, I’m a sucker for lists, and I’ll take Oxford’s for what it is: a lexiconic snapshot of the things we were talking about in 2010 — and, yes, I’m pretty sure “lexiconic” is a word in the same sense that “refudiate” isn’t.