2009’s Word of the Year is “unfriend”

November 16, 2009

ChattahBox) –I am not really digging this years word of the year. It’s not all that clever or iconic, just another nod to the influence of social media.  Anyway the folks at New Oxford American Dictionary have picked the verb  “unfriend,” meaning “to remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social-networking site such as Facebook,” as the word of the year.
“It has both currency and potential longevity,” says Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford’s U.S. dictionary program. “Unfriend has real lex-appeal.” The word is unique because it assumes a verb sense of “friend” that has not been used since the 17th century. Last year’s Oxford word of the year was the decidedly less mainstream “hypermiling.”

A few examples of other terms considered for the New Oxford American Dictionary 2009 Word of the Year:

intexticated – distracted because texting on a cellphone while driving a vehicle (Bluetooth is your friend. Even you, Bugatti owners)

sexting – the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone


freemium – a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content

funemployed – taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests

Politics and Current Affairs

birther – a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate

death panel – a theoretical body that determines which patients deserve to live, when care is rationed

teabagger -a person, who protests President Obama’s tax policies and stimulus package, often through local demonstrations known as “Tea Party” protests (in allusion to the Boston Tea Party of 1773)


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