Word of the Year 2006

132 Responses

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  • Sarah Wedde,

    Well don't I feel dumb. I've always read it as "porned" (why not "pawned" I'm not sure).

    Fortunately I don't move in the kind of company where such things are ever said aloud.

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay,

    I guess it doesn't really count for 2006, but one word that's acquired impressive new meaning over the last couple of years is 'orewa'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    I'll make a supernacular toast to that.

    is that like, vogels with a great alphabet soup on it?

    but in all seriousness, i'm amazed i wrote a PhD without ever actually reading or using teh words,

    lexiphanic
    thoroughgoing
    peripatetic
    or Gammy.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Well if we're going to be like that I'm a big fan of 'obfuscatory'. It's word that is what it means. Kind of the semantic equivalent of onomatopoeia.

    And guess which spelling I just had to look up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Dawn Tuffery,

    It's pretty geeky 'round here and pwned is always pronounced p-own-d,

    Ditto for our also-fairly-geeky workplace.

    Hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I really like 'opisthenar'. I dunno why we need a specific word for the back of your hand or why it should be that, but the look on people's faces when you say, "It's okay, I know this place like my opisthenar" could well be the reason.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • spinster,

    Sesquipedalian perhaps?

    auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    i got one of those lion red bottle caps that told me the scientific name for my pinkie finger is a "wanus"

    sounds wrong

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Bennett,

    'Schadenfreude' - it's the word and ethos of the year.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    "Peripatetic" is one of those wonderful words like "defenestration" that restores grandeur to entirely ordinary activities.

    I had no clue what peripatetic meant until I read some background on Aristotle-he and his students would often wander about outside Athens, hence the name of his lyceum: the Peripatetic School.

    Perhaps said All Black was implying he too grappled with the mysteries of the universe?

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Yes, Starkpiss seems a name truer to the qualities of the drink in question. Deborah might get Pead off though.

    Since Nov 2006 • 525 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Wedde,

    I learnt of peripatetic by way of the Peripatus, which would receive my vote as Insect of the Year, were there such a thing (scroll down to the mother with her babies and tell me that isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen).

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I nominate excellent when used thusly:

    "This topic has generated an excellent group of suggestions."
    "The supermarket has an excellent range of wines."

    It's another case of a superlative being devalued, cos you can replace it with "quite good" and the meaning stays the same.

    And I'm also nominating passion which should have been retired about two years ago, but people love it so much, so surely it's worthy of some lifetime achievement award.

    It's often seen as a desireable skill listed in job ads:

    "You must have a tertiary qualification, a proven sales record and a passion for customers."

    And it is often used by people to describe people or things they feel they have to justify their feelings for:

    "I'm very passionate about my partner."
    "I have a real passion for netball.

    I feel very passionate about my excellent nominated words.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1863 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    ...did I mention I'm still having nightmares about that "Should 'anal retentive' have a hyphen?" thing? :(

    OED says anal-retentive gets a hyphen when used as an adjective ("The anal-retentive blogger", "The blogger is anal retentive"

    But anal retention and anal retentiveness (both nouns) don't.

    Hmm... I suspect there may be some comedic aptness lurking in this post.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1863 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    It's another case of a superlative being devalued, cos you can replace it with "quite good" and the meaning stays the same.

    I've just been writing on cricket and reminded of how much I love the way words change their meaning when applied to that game. For instance:

    average - bad
    decidedly average - bloody appalling
    poor - abysmal

    You have to love a game, too, that gives us the word 'nurdle' and produces potential sentences like "Pietersen has spanked Warne through the covers".

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    "110%"

    It's what all athletes give these days.

    Actually, are numbers and symbols allowed? hang on.

    One hundred and ten percent.

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    You have to love a game, too, that gives us the word 'nurdle' and produces potential sentences like "Pietersen has spanked Warne through the covers".

    or "caught behind", or "taken down the legside". giggle giggle.

    "The ball dropped at his feet".

    "He's put it straight down long ons throat".

    or from Kerry O'Keefe. "he's bowls a lot of Rock Hudson delivieries". "They look straight but they aren't".

    Since Nov 2006 • 876 posts Report Reply

  • Trakman,

    Brash seemed to start every sentence in 2006 with frankly
    so quite frankly I'm going to nominate 'frankly' :)

    "cancerous" - is slightly more powerful though!

    Hey, how about: "unbundled"

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Muriel Lockheed,

    I am not sure about a word for 2006, I agree with many here, but I would like to nominate the word for 2007 already

    aspiration/s
    aspirational

    Wellywood • Since Nov 2006 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I had no clue what peripatetic

    If I hadn't looked it up, I'd have guessed it meant a state of constant hard-on...

    but that must be something else :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    I'd have guessed it meant a state of constant hard-on...

    That would be Priapic.

    For all those who have watched any kind of "reality" TV I nominate the word 'Journey'. Yes that's right, I'm talking to you, all you contestants on Idol, Rockstar, Top Model, Survivor, Downsize Me, et al.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Extreme.

    The other day I was wandering along K Road at lunchtime when a perky young person thrust a tube of toothpaste at me. It was EXTREME toothpaste apparently.

    I expect extreme toothpaste to abrade your teeth away leaving bloody pulpy gums, but the significant feature of this toothpaste was a mild orange flavour.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2968 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Xavier,

    Autochthonous.

    Sounds right wingish; is handsomely liberal; should be used more.

    Since Nov 2006 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    this is probably left field, but what about 'hyperlink'.

    has anyone noticed that you can't underline words in documents these days because people complain about broken hyperlinks? everything has to be bold or italic

    but on topic, stupidest word of the year, "eradicator".

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Jen Hay,

    Well if we really want to be anally retentive:

    OED says anal-retentive gets a hyphen when used as an adjective ("The anal-retentive blogger", "The blogger is anal retentive"

    Both these examples are actually adjectives, but only the first needs a hyphen. The difference is whether the adjective is acting as a modifier of a following noun or not. If the words precede the noun, you use a hyphen.

    the anal-retentive blogger
    the high-profile artist
    the well-deserved promotion

    but not if they follow them:
    the blogger is anal retentive
    the artist is high profile
    the promotion is well deserved

    fun fun fun...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 41 posts Report Reply

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