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Sarah Palin's "Refudiate" Named Word of the Year

Sarah Palin has made plenty of headlines in the past for some of her more memorable choices of words. And she also made headlines this year for creating new ones. After taking heat for using the non-word "refudiate" during an interview on Fox News, the former Alaska Governor defended her choice on Twitter. ""Refudiate," "misunderestimate," "wee-wee'd up." English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!" she Tweeted.
AP
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
AP

Sarah Palin may have been on the receiving end of quite a bit of mockery when she inadvertently coined the term "refudiate" last July, but now the former Alaska governor is getting her due - kind of. The New Oxford American Dictionary has named "refudiate" 2010's Word of the Year.

Palin introduced the term into the American lexicon last July when she used it in a Tweet about the proposed Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site in New York City. "Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn't it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate," she posted on her Twitter account.

The message was removed from her Twitter page shortly after its posting, but Palin (who had also, it was soon discovered, used the word during a previous appearance on Fox News) defended her usage of "refudiate" in another Tweet: "'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

According to the Huffington Post, the term became one of the most-searched words on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary over the summer. It was also named the number four top word of 2010 by Global Language Monitor.

Refudiate, Spillcam, Vuvuzela Top Words of 2010

The Oxford University Press blog defines refudiate as a verb "used loosely to mean 'reject.'"

"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,'" an editor for the blog wrote.

Runners-up for the "word of the year" title included "nom nom" ("an expression of delight when eating"), "gleek" ("a fan of the television series Glee") and, appropriately, "retweet."

Palin has yet to Tweet about winning the award.