W00t! Past 'Words of the Year'

November 26, 2008 5:00:18 AM PST
Merriam-Webster's annual Words of the Year dating to 2003, when the publisher started making the selection: [SIGN UP: Get bizarre news sent to you]

2008: Bailout -- "A rescue from financial distress."
Selected by huge volume of lookups as Congress was considering $700 billion bailout package for financial industry.

2007: W00t -- "Expression of joy or triumph, or an obvious victory; abbreviation of 'We Owned the Other Team,' originating from computer-gaming subculture."
Selected as representative of new words, often whimsical and clever, emerging from new technology.

2006: Truthiness -- "Truth that comes from the gut, not books."
Coined by Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert; selected as Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster's online users.
Picked as national political debates questioned what constitutes "truth," and whether it is subjective. Deemed by Merriam-Webster as a playful term for an important issue.

2005: Integrity -- "Firm adherence to a code; incorruptibility."
Picked as national political discourse centered on integrity, and lack thereof, in public servants on national and local levels.

2004: Blog -- "A Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer. Short for Weblog."
Selected as it rocketed to prominence in midyear, driven by growth and popularity of blogs.

2003: Democracy -- "Government by the people, especially: rule of the majority, or: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."
Selected as one of the most frequently looked up words each year, especially in a campaign season preceding noteworthy elections.

Source: Merriam-Webster

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