Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Which words do you love to hate?


I know our American friends were busy casting their vote yesterday, deciding who is to be the next President of the USA, but here’s something else very important indeed you can vote for. OK, perhaps not quite as important as deciding who is going to be the most powerful elected leader in the world, but hey, I’m British. I was feeling left out.

What we’re asking you to vote for, though, are the words you love to hate from 2008. Susie Dent has revealed the UK word of the year already but is there a word that has been everywhere that you would quite happily never see again?

We’ve made a few suggestions, but you can also nominate some words of your own. The survey closes on December 15th 2008, and all entries will be put into a prize draw. One lucky winner will receive a copy of Susie’s book Words of the Year.

Our suggestions are:

CREDIT CRUNCH – a multi-purpose word used to mean anything relating to the current financial turmoil

DELEAVERAGING – an opaque word to most, meaning the reduction of borrowed capital used to increase the return of an investment

MEDALLING – used at the Olympics, a curious example of a ‘verbed’ noun, from the word medal

FREEMALE – a manufactured word coined by a marketing company to mean a single woman

VISUACY – a word blend used as shorthand for ‘visual literacy’

Recent Comments

  1. […] Blog dell’OUP invita tutti i lettori a votare per la parola più odiata e odiosa del […]

  2. mollymooly

    Misspelling “deleveraging” won’t win any votes.

    I vote for “freemale”, which to me suggests a male rather than a female. Whatever about aesthetics, the semantics fail catastrophically.

Comments are closed.