Monday, December 22, 2008

NYT's 2008 Buzzwords

When 2008 is but a mere memory, what buzzwords will it have yielded that actually last? The New York Times ran a lengthy piece this past weekend offering a list of 38 buzzwords and phrases the authors say were made popular this year, including many politically-oriented terms, given that we just experienced a historic presidential election season.
Among the political terms:

-- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spawned three on the list: Caribou Barbie, "hockey mom" and "lipstick on a pig." "Maverick" was also on the list, but mostly because John McCain used it liberally about himself and then applied it to Palin.

-- Barack Obama was credited with spawning a whole host of derivations of his name -- both positive and negative -- ranging from "Obamanation" to "Obamacize and "Obamafy." His playful gesture with his wife Michelle was called a potential "terrorist fist jab" by a Fox News Channel anchor, not in jest.

-- "Joe" was there for a multitude of reasons, from Joe the Plumber, to "Joe Six-Pack" and "Amtrak Joe" (as in Joe Biden who took Amtrak to and from work).

Apolitical buzzwords included:

-- "Phelpsian" as in something having to do with Olympic gold be-dazzled swimmer Michael Phelps, or his insanely calorie-ific diet of a bazillion calories.

-- "Sister Wife," first heard by many on HBO's Big Love, but mentioned on this list because of the news stories spawned by this year's raid on a Texas polygamous compound.

-- Any form of the word Twitter (tweet, Twittering), of which I'd never heard until this year, unless it had to do with a bird.

Any words or phrases you think should've been on their list but wasn't? I'd toss into the mix: "Bailout" (self-explanatory), "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits" (Hillary Clinton's nickname for her followers) and "bleep" in honor of the embattled Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich.

Image credit: New York Times.


michellewaite1 said...

You need Wall Street vs. Main Street. That would be the economic phrase of the year, other then melt down.

Meredith said...

Good one Michelle. Forgot about that one.