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Sarah Palin’s ‘Refudiate’ Named Word Of The Year

Steele Meisinger |
November 16, 2010 | 1:11 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Sarah Palin (Courtesy Creative Commons)
Sarah Palin (Courtesy Creative Commons)
The New Oxford American Dictionary has coined Sarah Palin’s mash-up, “refudiate,” Word of the Year for 2010.

Palin used this word via her Twitter account last July (also used on a previous appearance on Fox News) when speaking to Muslim supporters who proposed an Islamic cultural center be built near the World Trade Center in New York City: “Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”

Although Palin wasn’t the first person to use this word, because she is a political celebrity, critics jumped on this made up word trying to decide whether she meant refute or repudiate. This sent the media into a flurry, making refudiate a 2010 buzzword. Palin quickly deleted her tweet and retweeted using ‘refute.’ Palin defended her made up word in another tweet saying, “Shakespeare likes to coin new words too.”

The editor of the Oxford University Press blog explains: "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.' "

The New Oxford American Dictionary blog defines refudiate as a “verb used loosely to mean ‘reject’.”

A few of the top ten finalist for word of the year include “nom nom” (“an expression of delight when eating”) and “vuvuzela” (“a long horn blown by fans at soccer matches”).

Palin currently hasn’t tweeted about winning the award.

Reach reporter Steele Meisinger here.



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