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'GIF' beats out 'YOLO' and 'superstorm' to become Word of the Year


Sorry, “Super PAC.” Your loss, “Eurogeddon.” The eggheads at Oxford American Dictionaries have spoken — and they’ve decreed that 2012’s Word of the Year is, officially, GIF, a verb meaning “to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event).”

GIFs weren’t invented this year, but 2012 was a pretty big year for animated photos — as the dictionary’s blog notes, huge events like the London Olympics and the American presidential election gave Internet users countless opportunities to show off their GIFing skills. Several GIF-focused Tumblrs such as whatshouldwecallme also blew up this year, bringing GIFS to a wider audience than ever.

Really, though, GIF may have been anointed because its competitors were so weak. Here are a few of the other words Oxford American Dictionary considered:


PopWatch Dictionary: 'Preboot.' (Example: 'X-Men: First Class')

Everyone knows what a sequel is. Everyone unfortunately knows what a prequel is. Everyone who doesn’t know what a reboot is will feel very confused at the multiplex next year. But in the nightmarish franchise laboratory of modern Hollywood, the Boys in the Back Room have created a horrific new subspecies that harnesses the power of the fourth dimension to pump new energy into a fading film series. The name of this monstrosity? The preboot (noun, origin unknown unless someone is stupid enough to claim it). Like the common prequel, the preboot takes place chronologically earlier than previous films in a series. But unlike a prequel, the preboot is not intended to lead directly into those earlier films. Instead, a preboot purports to restart a franchise in an entirely new direction. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Dictionary: 'Doucheboat'

DoucheboatsImage Credit: Frank Masi; Adam Larkey/ABCdoucheboat

A male character or celebrity who is undeniably attractive, despite possessing an abhorrent personality.

Origin: Coined many moons ago in the EW offices by Idolatry‘s own Kristen Baldwin, and kept alive by News & Notes editor Meeta Agrawal, this jaunty combination of the words “douche” and “dreamboat” once again surfaced during today’s EW morning meeting.

Sample sentence: Bradley Cooper has perfected the doucheboat role in Wedding Crashers, He’s Just Not That Into You, and The Hangover, but when it comes to TV, Josh Hopkins’ work on Cougar Town and Brothers & Sisters is the gold standard.

Please feel free to try out “doucheboat” in a sentence, or nominate your favorite pop-culture doucheboats, in the comments section below!

PopWatch Dictionary: Hangaoke


A private-room karaoke experience, which the participants enter into knowing that they’ll consume enough alcohol to produce a hangover the following morning — or, what is technically "later this morning," by the time they finally part ways.

Origin: For the umpteenth time, an EW Happy Hour Thursday night turned into three hours at a bar, followed by three hours at a karaoke establishment, where Michael Slezak and I may or may not have dueted on Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam’s "All Cried Out." (Next time, we recreate the choreography below.)

PopWatch Dictionary: 'Exhaustivo'

Feeling exhausted because you stayed up too late the night before watching shows recorded to your TiVo or DVR. Commonly accompanied by the self-flagellation, "Why do I do this to myself?"

Origin: Wednesday morning, three blocks into my 12-block walk to work, I regretted staying up till 3 a.m. watching (or fast-forwarding through) four new-to-me Angel repeats, American Idol, the Dancing With the Stars results show, and a Bones rerun on TNT that, hello, I actually own on DVD. (But it was the season 1 Christmas episode where everyone gets quarantined in the Jeffersonian, and only Booth gets to enjoy the fun side effects of the antifungal cocktail they’re administered, as seen below.) Which is why I said to myself, as I was trudging, "I am exhaustivo."

The PopWatch Dictionary: Cineparanoia

The overwhelming fear of being judged based on a film selection.

Origin:I was recently tasked with renting a long list of movies so that ourphoto editors could make screen grabs for the latest EW.com gallery: Watching the Unwatchable. I skipped merrily through the video rental store, and happily plunked my movie picks on the counter. The clerk took a long, hard look at me, followed by an even longer look at my film selections. I followed his eyes over the titles:

American History X. Pulp Fiction. Saw (starring Tobin Bell, pictured). The Hitcher. Blade Runner. Reservoir Dogs. The Ring. Requiem for a Dream. 

It dawned on me. I was being judged. And, guessing by the look on the young employee’s face, I ranked somewhere between disturbed and psychopathic. He seemed momentarily lost in a reverie, and I knew. I just knew he was picturing me running home and hosting a graphic movie marathon, a weekly event celebrating film in its unrated, grotesque, and downright offensive glory, a night culminating in some sort of sacrifice, ending in a toast with a glass of my own blood.


Anyone else get a good laugh over the new 'Wanted' trailer?

The trailer for Angelina Jolie’s latest, Wanted (opening June 27), has what I like to affectionately call "The Giggle Factor." You know what I mean — when you’re watching a movie or a TV show or an American Idol performance, and something so over-the-top awesome/ridiculous happens that you cannot suppress the urge to bust out laughing.

For me, the Wanted trailer can be broken down into a mathematical equation:That opening sequence with Angelina Jolie’s car skidding into/picking up a bewildered James McAvoy + the "bullet rustles Angie’s tresses" shot + the artsy slabs of meat = Uncontrollable giggling.

And yes, of course I’m going to go see it! What about you?

Wanted Exclusive Trailer

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PopWatch Dictionary: 'Mift'

A gift you secretly purchase for yourself that masquerades as a gift for someone else; a mift is given in the hopes that it will inevitably become yours, either when the receiver lends it to you, then forgets about the present entirely, or, in cases where the giver and receiver live together, via shared possession.

Origin: Mashup of the words "my" and "gift."

Usage: Kip, when I got you seasons 1 and 2 of Arrested Development on DVD, they were mifts. I was dying to see all the special features, and I had nothingelse to do over Christmas break. Ifyou were to check right now, you’d see that a majority of the box set isfilled with blank discs. And Dad? About the Angels and Demons audio book I got you? Also a mift. I knewyou couldn’t listen to it because you don’t have a CD player or aniPod. I included the gift receipt, but I knew you’d be too lazy toreturn it. I ”borrowed” it from you and I’ve been listening to it onthe train.

Okay, I think I’ve probably confessed enough here. How about you, PopWatchers? What’s the best entertainment related mifts you’ve given? And have you ever been the recipient of a suspected mift?

PopWatch Dictionary: ‘Nut guard’

Swingers_lnut guard


The credit on an actor’s resume that is so beloved it stops fans from wanting to actually kick him where it hurts after sitting through his latest stinker.

[Origin: After seeing Fred Claus, Mandi told her friend Karen that she wanted to kick Vince Vaughn in the nuts. Karen said, “No, you can’t. He’s got a nut guard because of Swingers.”]

Which other actors have a nut guard?

addCredit(“Swingers: Everett Collection”)

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