Feature Op-Ed

Hypermiling, Bailout & Overshare Named Words of the Year; Wardrobe Becomes a Verb

Cynthia Nixon wardrobed by Calvin Klein Collection at the 28th Annual Muse Awards

Cynthia Nixon wardrobed by Calvin Klein Collection at the 28th Annual Muse Awards

DALLAS, Dec 21, 2008 / FW/ — It’s that time of year for lists and as part of the tradition, the English speaking world, via the dictionaries name their Word of the Year (WOTY) plus the list of the runner-ups. For 2008, the HYPERMILE, BAILOUT and OVERSHARE were named WOTY by Oxford, Merriam-Webster and New World dictionaries, respectively.

But, before we discuss the choices, there is a fashion word that actually made it to the Top 10 runner-ups and it is WARDROBE. Originally a noun, it is now also a VERB. So, when fashion writers (as yours truly) write ‘Cynthia Nixon of the Sex & the City fame, wardrobed by Calvin Klein, was honored by NYWIFT with an award,’ is now grammatically correct.

HYPERMILE – WOTY Oxford University Press

“Hypermiling” was coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes, who runs this web site. “Hypermiling” or “to hypermile” is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

BAILOUT – WOTY Merriam-Webster

Bailout means a rescue from financial crisis and for Americans; this word is screamed on headlines regularly during the week.

OVERSHARE – WOTY New World Dictionary (watch video)

Overshare – too much information given that is truly not needed.

Runner-ups

Other than WARDROBE, below are some words that made it on the runner up list that caught my attention:

frugalista – person who leads a frugal lifestyle, but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc.

moofer – a mobile out of office worker – ie. someone who works away from a fixed workplace, via Blackberry/laptop/wi-fi etc. (also verbal noun, moofing)

topless meeting – a meeting in which the participants are barred from using their laptops, Blackberries, cellphones, etc.

staycation – vacation taken at or near one’s home, taking day trips, etc.

tweet – a short message sent via the Twitter service, using a cellphone or other mobile device.

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