Menu
Facebook digs in as 'unfriend' named Word of the Year

Facebook digs in as 'unfriend' named Word of the Year

Oxford Dictionary also considered Tweetup, Twitteraholic and netbook as top words

In another sign of how Facebook has woven itself into pop culture, the New Oxford American Dictionary has named "unfriend" its 2009 Word of the Year.

The verb means to remove someone from a list of friends on a social networking site, such as Facebook. Think of it as, "I left my job and unfriended some of my old co-workers."

"It has both currency and potential longevity," said Christine Lindberg, senior lexicographer for Oxford's U.S. dictionary program, in a statement. "In the online social networking context, its meaning is understood, so its adoption as a modern verb form makes this an interesting choice for Word of the Year. Most 'un-' prefixed words are adjectives (unacceptable, unpleasant), and there are certainly some familiar 'un-' verbs (uncap, unpack), but 'unfriend' is different from the norm. It assumes a verb sense of 'friend' that is really not used -- at least not since maybe the 17th century! Unfriend has real lex-appeal."

And don't think that "unfriend" was the only technical word considered for Word of the Year.

The word "netbook" was considered, along with "hashtag" and "sexting", which means sending sexually explicit messages or photos over a cell phone. Another word that was considered is "intexticated", which means a person is distracted by texting while driving .

Twitter-related words that almost made the cut include: Tweetup , Tweetaholic, Twittermob and retweet.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the leading customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments