Palin’s ‘Refudiate’ Wins 2010 Word Of The Year

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It may not make Sarah Palin’s tweets any easier to read, but maybe she was on to something when she combined the words “refute” and “repudiate” into the now infamous “refudiate.”

The New Oxford American Dictionary has named ‘refudiate’ its 2010 Word of the Year, defining it as:

refudiate: verb used loosely to mean “reject”: she called on them to refudiate the proposal to build a mosque. 
[origin — blend of refute and repudiate]

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Governor Sarah Palin: A Long Goodbye]

Here’s Palin’s original tweet:

The dictionary’s “historical perspective” of the word further defends its title, saying, “From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used “refudiate,” we have concluded that neither “refute” nor “repudiate” seems consistently precise, and that “refudiate” more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of “reject.” ”

Other finalists for the top spot included, appropriately, “retweet,” and “Tea Party.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story suggested that “refudiate” would be added to the dictionary. After this piece was published, the dictionary made clear that “there are no definite plans to include “refudiate” in the NOAD, the OED, or any of our other dictionaries.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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