Latest Facebook Star: 2009 Word of the Year

'Unfriend' beats 'sexting' and 'birther,' gets call from dictionary
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2009 4:56 PM CST
Latest Facebook Star: 2009 Word of the Year
A random page from a random dictionary is shown in this stock image.   (Shutterstock)

In a move sure to get English majors talking, the New Oxford American Dictionary has crowned “unfriend” as its Word of the Year for 2009. And yes, the verb means exactly what you think it means: "To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook." “Unfriend has real lex-appeal,” explained Oxford’s senior American lexicographer. “It has both currency and potential longevity.”

Some other words Oxford considered:

  • netbook: a small, very portable laptop computer with limited memory
  • sexting: the sending of sexually explicit texts and pictures by cellphone
  • freemium: a business model in which some basic services are provided for free, with the aim of enticing users to pay for additional, premium features or content
  • funemployed: taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
  • birther: a conspiracy theorist who challenges President Obama’s birth certificate
For more, see the source. (More dictionary stories.)

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