Refudiate: 2010 Word of the Year


Sarah Palin may not have succeeded in her quest to become the Vice President of the United States, but her time in the spotlight is not really over. While she did not` seek to be re-elected as the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has been busy with a host of other activities. Her own TV show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, is attracting some attention, together with her Twitter account: @SarahPalinUSA.

Some time this year, Twitterverse was abuzz with Sarah Palin’s tweet using a one-of-a-kind word. Can you spot it below?

“Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”

To her credit, I actually got what she meant after reading that tweet. Of course, just because I understood what she meant doesn’t mean that the word is real. Indeed, at that time, the word was not officially recognized. This is the perfect example of how dynamic language is. Several months after people were enjoying laughing at Sarah Palin’s boo-boo, the tides have turned – big time.

I don’t know if you have heard about it, but refudiate has made it to the the “real world.” The New Oxford American Dictionary editors have made it official: refudiate is a word. It doesn’t stop there, though. More than being a word, it is the word of the year.

The official definition according to the NOAD:

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]

So who is laughing now?

To be honest, I am not averse to using this word – as bizarre as it may seem – in the future. Who knows? You just might see it in the Grammar Guide one of these days.

What do you think about this year’s word?


  1. says

    I like the word, however I don’t see myself using it anytime soon. Thoughts of Fred Sanford (Sanford and Son) come to mind when I think of word combos like refudiate! lol

    I can remember how my English teacher flinched when the dictionary finally added the word “okay!”


  1. […] No, I’m really wishing you all a great Christmas weekend.  It’s just that I came across an opinion piece over at NPR which deals with that phrase in the title.  I never really paid much attention to it whenever I heard it uttered by friends.  Even though I have somehow earned a reputation for correcting other people’s grammar (or flinching at least), I have been trying to be more tolerant in the past year.  After all, I also believe that language is so dynamic that changes are unavoidable. […]

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