You still can’t refudiate this

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.

22 thoughts on “You still can’t refudiate this

    1. Hey, you’re from South Africa. What’s with the vuvuzelas? What’s the point of blowing them nonstop throughout the entire game? Doesn’t the noise bother the players?

      1. Hey Todd, I don’t really know! I am pretty sure they bother the players – especially those who aren’t used to them – and they can’t hear the ref or each other. They also bother other spectators, big time. My family and friends who went to any world cup games wore earplugs; a common complaint during the World Cup was “vuvuzela lips”, and there are now hilarious cartoons illustrating other uses for the vuvuzela, including the suggestion you make! :-)

      2. That’s the part I can’t understand: If the vuvuzelas interfere with the play on the field, then why don’t they ban vuvuzelas (or give the players and refs noise-canceling headphones).

  1. My sister was in South Africa right around the World Cup (though she was there for the BMX World Championship races) and she said the vuvuzelas were out of control!

    So of course she bought one to take home.

    I can’t even imagine. I’m a huge baseball fan. If people used vuvuzelas at a baseball game I think I would lose my mind.

    1. On the other hand, if everybody in the stands was using a vuvuzela, I couldn’t hear my kids ask over and over again whether it’s time to get ice cream in a little plastic baseball helmet, so, you know, it really comes down to which annoying distraction you prefer. ;-)

    1. I haven’t heard anyone use it, but I’m OK with “nom-nommy,” athough “nom-nom” as a verb doesn’t cut it. “I’m going to nom-nom that sandwich.” See? It just sits there.

  2. I have a book titled Flappers to Rappers, which chronicles American slang to whatever year it was published (probably late 1990s). I’m going to check out Bankster when I get home.

    Retweet — isn’t that what a certain cute little bird does when chased by Sylvester?…ok. (Sorry!)

  3. I read Nom Nom but thought NaNo for a minute and was confused. I’m often confused. In any case if you are over the age of about six…I don’t think using the word Nom Nom is a good idea. I just don’t. Gleek? I need to think about it.


  4. The vuvuzelas were as much of an irritation to most South Africans as they were to the rest of the world! I think they did try and limit the blowing of vuvuzelas to certain times during the game, but that didn’t work out so well . . . Thankfully they have been banned from all other sporting events here.

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