Friday, 1 January 2010

My top 40 words of the Noughties

9/11, 24/7, Asbo, avatar, Axis of evil, bailouts, bling, blogosphere, Bolivarian, Bushisms, chav, climate sceptic, dodgy dossier, downloads, eco-towns, Facebook, financialisation, green economy, ground zero, Hogwarts, iPod, obesity epidemic, poke, quantitative easing, sexed up, staycation, swine flu, toxic debt, tsunami, tweet, Twitterati, War on Terror, white working class, Wii, Wiki, WMD, X-box, X factor, YouTube, Z-rate celebrity

Any important words missed off the list?
What do these words and phrases say about our times?
And are there any - since it's New Year's Day, start of a new decade and all that - you could quite happily leave behind and never hear of again?


  1. Two suggested additions: hanging chads; colour revolutions

  2. 24/7 is good - a shorthand expression that perfectly sums up a decade in which no one seemed to have time any more. Tweet, too - a silly word to describe communications that are often meaningless.

    I think "misunderestimate" should be a proper word (or is it just included under "Bushisms?). It does sort of make sense, doesn't it? But "Noughties" is a word I never want to hear again. It's just irritating!

    And "colour revolutions", which someone else has added to the list, is good too.

  3. Yes, 'misunderestimate' is a particularly good Bushism! It occurs to me, as well, how much vocabulary is linked to the 'war on terror' (itself a remarkable - and remarkably silly - phrase). A good example is 'extraordinary rendition', which makes torture sound that little bit nicer.

    The 'colour revolutions' were indeed an important feature of the decade in some parts of the world. There's also the political upheavals of Latin America, which have brought us the 'Bolivarian Revolution' (which I included above) but also the excellent words 'Chavismo' and 'Chavista' associated with Hugo Chavez's supporters.

  4. Smash the [insert unpopular organisation here], expulsion, democracy

  5. LOL... as a spoken word

    kettling; taser; rendition... all have sinister meanings, which is a sad indication of the direction we're heading in.

    new atheists... why new?

    muffin top; wardrobe malfunction... good for a laugh!