Shiny New Words

Apparently (and I use “apparently” in the broadest sense of the word) the New Oxford American Dictionary has chosen its 2009 Word of the Year. Yeah, I know, I’m really pepped too.

Hopefully it will be a big improvement on the 2009 Swedish Christmas Present of the year, which turned out to be this thing:

Fig 1: A Swedish acupressure mat, or portable bed of nails

So, anyway, the winning word was “unfriend”, a wonderful word that has been keeping us all in a simmering state of anxiety over the last few years. Here is a full definition and lengthy discussion of this word for the Faceless among you when have not heard of the concept.

Read the whole thing, if you wish to hear a “professional” tell it. Or you can just stay here and listen to me  rehash it and take some of the credit, which I think you’ll agree is more fun, at least for me.

So, some other new words of note:

  • “Intexticated” – to be distracted by sending a text while driving
  • “Deleb” – a dead celebrity
  • “Tramp stamp” – a tattoo on the lower back, usually on a woman

And I can see, given the crappy competition, that it was a pretty easy win. Am I right or am I right?

/ paddy

20 thoughts on “Shiny New Words

  1. Ah – unfriend is indeed the iconic word that best describes this year! Although I must say that I think Deleb is a witty one too…

    As for this year’s most popular word – the winner is… yes, you guessed it: Twitter!

  2. It’s more fun in german. Paraphrasing the words of undethroned punk queen of the world Nina Hagen “Ich mächte dich zum Twitter-aal”. (spelling not certified)


  3. But Paddy, tramp stamp isn’t something new. Well in the dictionary maybe. But who haven’t heard of a tramp stamp years ago? *looking around her*
    If anyone says “me” now, I’ll be get really uncomfortable.

    • Yeah I was informed of that yesterday. It was new to me, and to the people who wrote the article but I see it’s been around for ages. Every “journalist” should be forced to check wikipedia before making a statement.

  4. I want to use “the naughties” because it’s much funnier. Too bad I heard that word during the end of 2009 so I can’t use it in real time apart from like 2½ weeks more. And there will be pretty much nothing naughty done until then.

  5. And! I will use “the teens” for the upcoming decade. We should celebrate every year with someone stupid we did at 10, 11, 12 years old etc. Too bad it isn’t until 2014 I can start drinking alcohol and fall over in the snow.

  6. PaddyK: “Well that means I won’t be having sex again until 202X…”

    Wouldn’t it just blow for you then if this kook was right?…

    I prefer saying “the 2100s” instead of “the noughties”. It makes all of our lives seem more historical and important. (eg. “Back in the beginning of the 2100s there was still an air of global optimism not yet molested by unrelenting groupThink and the evil corporate-driven consumerism that spawned it.”) Lol.

  7. Damn. How stupid of me: that should read 2000s, not 2100s. I was sleepy when I wrote this and mixing up the years with “21st century”. I assure all of you that I have not invented a time machine and even if I am a mad genius bent on world domination, the CIA will never me! Carry on, carry on.

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