Sarah Palin, wordsmith: 'Refudiate' named Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year

Sarah-Palin-oilImage Credit: Palin: Fox NewsTake a look at the images on the left. What do they both have in common? (Besides, of course, the fact that they’re both catalysts for major firestorms.) Give up? Well, both have inspired two separate vocabulary-minded companies to crown their Words of the Year: “Refudiate,” a non-existent word used by Sarah Palin in a tweet back in July, has been named Word of the Year by the Oxford American Dictionary, while the Global Language Monitor has recognized “Spillcam” the top word of 2010. (“Vuvuzela,” the overbearingly loud horn used at the World Cup, finished second to spillca-BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.)

Interestingly enough, “refudiate” placed fourth on Global Language Monitor’s list — behind the aforementioned vuvuzela at No. 2, and “the narrative” at No. 3 — which means one thing: Between this and Palin’s ratings domination on TLC last night, the ex-governor of Alaska is back in vogue like it’s September 2008. Personally, as someone who appreciates the proper English language (but, yes, hypocritically championed the placement of “truthiness” in the dictionary a few years back), I have to refudiate OAD’s decision to recognize Palin’s gaffe, even if there are (thankfully) no plans to include the word in the dictionary. (But am I using it correctly? I refudiately honestly don’t know!) Let’s only reward non-words when they’re awesome, like Baconnaise, ‘mkay?

Comments (35 total) Add your comment
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  • Dan Daoust

    That sounds like a good strategery.

    • Ktct


    • ann p

      refudiate, brought to you by the same people who think WOOT is a real word.

  • Dave

    I’m with the writer of the article. Let’s only reward non-words when they’re awesome.

    • Cara

      I agree. Making up a word to fill a word-vacuum — a word that we need, but don’t have — is great. Making an error (e.g. saying “infer” for “imply”) is neither clever nor rare…

      • dm

        well said!

    • DCist

      My word: “Chatus” (as in, Gmail chat status). “You had a hilarious chatus up earlier.”

  • Storm

    have to agree that sounds like a good thoughtea ( thought/idea)

  • Buffy Freak

    If she had made it up on purpose I’d be all for it. But it only further proves what a dumbass this woman is.

    • jules

      Nah, even if she did make it up on purpose, it would still make me want to puke. Kinda like she makes me want to puke.

  • Ap

    As long as MW won’t touch it I’m happy

  • Daddyb

    The author must be a Democrat… wouldn’t like ANYTHING that Palin said, or tweeted. (I’m teasing! I’m teasing!)

    • Ruby

      They’re all stupid liberals at this website…

      • Carrie

        I’m confused…the website is run by ‘stupid liberals’ and yet you are still here and commenting, yet Sarah Palin isn’t ‘stupid’ for making up a word and being dumb enough to put it in print?

  • Kevin

    “Santorum” is still the greatest word contributed to the English language by a politician… though I very much doubt Rick Santorum much cares for the word’s meaning.

    • Jenna

      The most hysterical thing about that word is that THAT definition is one of the first ones that comes up if you type “Santorum” in to Google…not any page about him.

    • UGH patrol

      I agree!

  • J.

    Oh, please don’t encourage this woman. What’s next from her – “Grizzbox”. As in, “I slapped him when he touched my grizzbox.”

    • Yoyo


  • Bubbbbaaaa

    THIS JUST IN: Mrs. Palin’s show is so popular, she’s getting ready to sign a big movie contract.

    With 18th Century Fox.

  • JPX

    People act like this is so cute or precious. It should serve as a strong reminder that this vapid woman represents anti-intellectualism at its worse. I shudder to think what the world would look like if this dolt go into the White House.

    • Watch me move to Canada

      The day Momma Grizzly moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the day you will see a mass exodus to Canada.

      • JPX


      • ImRight

        Yes, all the stupid libs will go bother poor Canada!

    • Stadler

      Really, though, could it be any worse than it is now?? I think not. I’d rather have this kind of pseudo-intellectualism where you can at least see the truth from the fallacy than the pseudo-intellectualism (that is, sounds really intellectual but is actually ineffective dogma) that is spewing from the white house today and is being lapped up like mother’s milk. Please.

  • Leave it to Palin . . .

    I didn’t think anyone would ever speak in the oral tradition of President Bush but there you go.

  • UGH patrol

    My new wore is Slore. It is Sarah to a tea.

  • Eric

    Y’all take her way too seriously!

    • Adam

      She asked to be taken seriously when she ran for Vice President of the United States.

  • Shocked & Awed

    What is most disturbing is that if one replaced Sarah Palin with a minority figure (like Mike Steele or Michelle Obama) in using a made up word, the buzz would be how intellectually deficient minorities are….Sarah Palin does it & it’s a different matter altogether.

  • Elizabeth

    Is the tea party running the OAD? (kidding… maybe?)

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