What should be the 2011 Word of the Year? We have a few ideas

It’s only November, but Best of the Year lists are going around and the time has come to discuss the Word of 2011. A couple of weeks ago, we asked our Facebook fans for early candidates for the year-defining term. Of course, the political turmoil of the 2011 dominated the responses. Occupy and revolution were popular choices, along with spring. Other terms along those lines include transition, upheaval, and toppled. (On Twitter, our followers suggested the word “retweet” among others.)

We always face a dilemma when making a choice like this (a choice that one could argue is like choosing one color to describe the rainbow.) Should the Word of the Year be one that was actually used with frequency? Or should it be an esteemed entry in the dictionary that complexly yet perfectly describes the character of the past 12 months? We put this question to our Facebook audience as well. Overwhelmingly, voters said it should be a complex word that exemplifies the spirit of 2011.

Here are 10 of the words that seem to be front-runners in the 2011 campaign:
Common and Prescient:
Obscure but Apt:
For 2010, we chose the word “change,” in both senses of the word: transformation and coins in your pocket. We chose it in part because you—the totality of our audience—were interested in it; the number of searches for “change” surged in 2010. Read about our selection here.

This year, a few of the words that have been more looked up include conscientious, antonym and app.

At this point, though, we should also keep in mind that the year’s not over yet. The Occupy movement is only six-weeks old, so who knows where it will be in another eight weeks, and the ever-evolving Republican primary campaigns may have much more in store for us as well. Perhaps someone will utter something so remarkable it will make Charlie Sheen’s unsettling loquacity seem tame.

So, weigh in. What words do you like, and what direction do you recommend for our choice? We value your insights and we’ll keep you updated on the influx of opinion.


  1. Jesus Christ -  January 9, 2015 - 5:55 pm

    I think the word we are looking for is GODLESS

  2. Zach Shure -  February 15, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    I think internecine is right on, since there’s been all the revolutions and wars in the past couple months.

    • Jesus Christ -  January 9, 2015 - 5:54 pm

      I think the word we are looking for is GODLESS

  3. Chryssa Tsolakidou -  November 30, 2011 - 3:54 am


    It contains the meaning of “JOBS” (though it doesn’t relate to the “loss of the year”), the meaning of “WINNING”, it started in “SPRING” and is also connected with AUSTERITY of course….

    OCCUPY it is!!! well at least i know it is for all of those who ve been on the streets all over the world this year and all of those who have been without an occupation and all those who will be in the future!

  4. Logistics -  November 17, 2011 - 8:36 pm


  5. Carlitos -  November 14, 2011 - 1:05 pm

    I’m just happy that Occupy is so prevalent in peoples thinking, despite the mainstream media’s relentless efforts to belittle and dengrate the popular voice of the people. Be proud of yourselves for turning off your TVs and taking to the streets!

    May it be a seed that grows a tree of peace, prosperity and POWER TO THE PEOPLE! All people! Now and forevermore! Accept nothing less!

  6. jared -  November 14, 2011 - 11:33 am

    charlie sheen!:)

  7. sierra -  November 13, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    Make it obstreporus. I hope i spelled that right.

  8. Haley Jeanne -  November 12, 2011 - 1:57 pm

    I cannot believe that “winning” is in the running for word of the year. So we’re condoning drugged up, nonsensical, insane hollywood celebrities now? And epic? If i here that word one more time i’ll have a nervous breakdown.

    ANYWAY, i think a fitting word would be chaos. Or pandemonium, discord, tumult, maelstrom, disquiet or even confusion (the protesters of America certainly seem confused about what they’re protesting).

    Basically, anything besides winning is okay with me. Even austere.

    Thanks for your time.

  9. WordsINeverSaid -  November 11, 2011 - 12:27 am

    This is my 3rd time posting the same thing… I hope someone gets to read it before Dictionary.com silences my opinion again.

    Dear All,
    Just to clarify… The word “OCCUPY” is not a popular choice simply because of the Occupy Movement at Wall Street, DC, and other areas in the States. Occupy also represents EVERY single Arab country in the “Spring” where the 99% were able to overcome the 1% occupiers; the elite that were leaching off their country’s resources for personal gain, inhibiting development of  entire countries for nearly half a century.
    BenAli, Mubarak, Saleh, & Gaddafi were all dictators for 3-4 decades each… just IMAGINE we were stuck under someone like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin indefinitely, and we never even voted for them, and if we crack a single joke about them we’d get arrested. Now picture our Occupy Movement in NY & DC, and imagine that Obama declared Martial Law to terrorize the protesters.
    These are the conditions that the 11 million in Tunisia, 81 million in Egypt, the 24 million in Yemen, & 6.5 million in Libya have overcome this year… This year represents the end of occupation for more than 120 million individuals. The (4) dictators mentioned above, have combined fortunes estimated at more than a TRILLION dollars… That represents 10 – 15% of the national debt of the United States. That’s more than a thousand, thousand, million USD, while most of their people didn’t have bread to eat.
    UNFORTUNATELY, the occupation is not over for everyone. There are still 23 million in Syria, the people in Bahrain, the 32 million in Morocco, and others that remain occupied.
    Last but certainly not least PALESTINE, which has been and remains OCCUPIED (As Per International Law) for more than (6) decades! The Palestinians have made significant progress this year by submitting their bid for full-membership to the UN General Assembly, and being accepted as a permanent member of UNESCO. Maybe this year Palestine can be freed from the manacles of Occupation, and be recognized as a country of their own… Maybe the (10) million Palestinians scattered around the world, like me, can have a country that we can freely enter and exit at will… maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
    These conflicts are the motif of this year, beginning from January and they will last past the end of the year…  So occupy is not misrepresentative as the word of the year, because it has been prevalent throughout 2011. As for the optimists that want to focus only on the positive that’s happened this year, you must look beyond the borders of your own country. Keep in mind that sometimes we need to remember the Negative, to prevent it from EVER happening again!

  10. Oakland Copywriter Rob -  November 10, 2011 - 10:47 am

    I gotta give it to “winning.” In many ways, Sheen’s sad game face and bravado seems like an apt personification of what our country’s going through, politically and economically speaking…

  11. Moe A -  November 10, 2011 - 1:46 am

    Dear All,

    Just to clarify… The word “OCCUPY” is not a popular choice simply because of the Occupy Movement at Wall Street, DC, and other areas in the States. Occupy also represents EVERY single Arab country in the “Spring” where the 99% were able to overcome the 1% occupiers; the elite that were leaching off their country’s resources for personal gain, inhibiting development of entire countries for nearly half a century.
    BenAli, Mubarak, Saleh, & Gaddaffi were all dictators for 3-4 decades each… just IMAGINE we were stuck under someone like George W. Bush or Sarah Palin indefinetly, and we never even voted for them, and if we crack a single joke about them we’d get arrested. Now picture our Occupy Movement in NY & DC, and imagine that Obama declared Martial Law to terrorize the protesters.
    These are the conditions that the 11 million in Tunisia, 81 million in Egypt, the 24 million in Yemen, & 6.5 million in Libya have overcome this year… This year represents the end of occupation for more than 120 million individuals. The (4) dictators mentioned above, have combined fortunes estimated at more than a TRILLION dollars… That represents 10 – 15% of the national debt of the United States. That’s more than a thousand, thousand, million USD, while most of their people didn’t have bread to eat.
    UNFORTUNATELY, the occupation is not over for everyone. There are still 23 million in Syria, the people in Bahrain, the 32 million in Morroco, and others that remain occupied.
    Last but certainly not least PALESTINE, which has been and remains OCCUPIED (As Per International Law) for more than (6) decades! The Palestinians have made significant progress this year by submitting their bid for full-membership to the UN General Assembly, and being accepted as a permanent member of UNESCO. Maybe this year Palestine can be freed from the manacles of Occupation, and be recognized as a country of their own… Maybe the (10) million Palestinians scattered around the world, like me, can have a country that we can freely enter and exit at will… maybe it’s just wishful thinking.
    As for the optimists that want to focus only on the positive that’s happened this year, you must look beyond the borders of your own country. Keep in mind that sometimes we need to remember the Negative, to prevent it from EVER happening again!

  12. Rohini -  November 9, 2011 - 10:07 pm

    I’ll go with “Spring”

  13. Jim -  November 9, 2011 - 1:14 pm

    Without question…The word of the year is “Epic”

  14. paige -  November 9, 2011 - 11:59 am

    bandersnatch….i know a few of those…look it up… im troubled

  15. Miki -  November 9, 2011 - 9:22 am

    It’s true we’ve had a rough year…earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires, war, economic upheaval. But shouldn’t we try to look at what’s come from these terrible things? Why not end the year on a positive note; honor those who have suffered and sacrificed with words like triumph, revolution, unity, perserverance, courage. I want to remember this year for our strength without forgetting what we’ve lost.

  16. Brandon -  November 9, 2011 - 7:47 am

    hmm i think revolution would fit well because of all the riots going on in new york and in DC. also because of how many countries over in europe are rising up against their government. it is a suitable word for the word of the year and i think it would fit nicely.

  17. GOS -  November 7, 2011 - 10:22 pm

    I appreciate “austerity” for all the feelings of cutbacks, unemployment, and uncertainty people in America and Europe have been feeling this year.

    But I’d vote for “occupy,” for the political and social protest we’ve seen, from the demonstrations that overthrew Middle Eastern dictatorships to the challenges to the status quo in Washington right now, from tea partiers to Wall Street occupiers.

  18. anon -  November 7, 2011 - 9:38 pm

    If I had to choose a word from the list provided, I would suggest “austerity.” It is sophisticated enough without sounding pretentious, and rolls off the tongue with such fluency and elegance. Austerity. Saying it aloud can make the most boorish sound urbane and the most uneducated seem intelligent. Austerity. I quite like that word.

  19. Nicole -  November 7, 2011 - 9:27 pm

    The word of the year should be “EPIC”

  20. Bairavi -  November 7, 2011 - 8:55 pm

    I think its “OCCUPY”..

  21. Kathleen -  November 7, 2011 - 8:12 pm


  22. sean -  November 7, 2011 - 8:12 pm

    Zugzwang for sure.

  23. Canopy -  November 7, 2011 - 7:43 pm

    Zugzwang, obviously. Every move we make now will affect us worse.

  24. Kevin -  November 7, 2011 - 7:01 pm


  25. Meh -  November 7, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    “Up” should be the word of the year. Look it ‘up” yourself: you’ll see why.

  26. Tate Zuki -  November 7, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    steve jobs products were made in China. So the chinese can celebrate steve’s jobs. Many Americans could be better off right now if the “visionary” would have cared. He only cared about his name and ego. Americans needed jobs and he didn’t provide them. He provided expensive toys. “Frustrating” is a candidate for WOTY.

  27. Dooms -  November 7, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    Winning sounds good.

  28. Bill -  November 7, 2011 - 6:00 pm

    quietus for sure if you think otherwise you’re stupid

  29. Anonymous -  November 7, 2011 - 5:41 pm

    I think that it should be whatever word what looked up the most. I’m not sure if Dictionary.com is able to know that, though.

  30. Savanna -  November 7, 2011 - 5:28 pm

    I love zugzwang. It sounds fun and interesting.

  31. Justin -  November 7, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    how about Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

  32. Jay -  November 7, 2011 - 5:13 pm

    Sorry, that was supposed to be tergiversation. I hate when that happens!
    ; )

  33. Jay -  November 7, 2011 - 5:11 pm

    As a linguophile I say, let’s have a word with some “meat on it’s bones!” I think tergiverstion or zugzwang are great ones to describe 2011. = )
    I, for one, don’t want to dumb it down with “winning” (ugh) or “occupy” which hasn’t come to complete fruition yet as far as I can tell.

  34. Yosie -  November 7, 2011 - 4:34 pm

    ‘Winning’? Really–that’s giving too much power/credit/attention to Sheen, some drugged-up crazy-person. The ‘Occupy’ efforts of OWS and around the world have not represented 2011, only a few months of it. ‘Jobs’ — for Steve or the lack of them and rising unemployment? And the ‘Obscure but Apt’ words — never heard of any of them. Then again, this thing is a joke; I mean, they always pick some dumb, made-up hipster word that makes you cool if you use(d) it.

  35. Katherine -  November 7, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    Out of all the choices, “zugzwang” fits this year like a glove does a hand. It seems to be that no matter where humans turn or what path they venture on, the outcome is catastrophic or, at the very least, sorry.

    When are the nominations?

  36. ubs -  November 7, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    how about ”hot”

  37. Unknown -  November 7, 2011 - 3:50 pm

    Winning? Doesn’t exactly describe the year, considering all of the debts, tragedies, etc. that happened this year. Not exactly winning in my opinion.

    I think that crisis would be the best word to describe this year. After all, many feel the pain of losing jobs (and Jobs), facing corrupt politicians, major debt problems like those in Europe, natural disasters, even the coming of 2012 for the superstitious.

    Although if I could, I’d vote for austerity or zugzwang too.

    P.S. The author of the article needs grammar check.

  38. m -  November 7, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    EPIC IS THE 2011 WORD!!!!!!!

  39. AJ -  November 7, 2011 - 3:35 pm

    “Dude” or “win” or “winning”. You’re choise

  40. Tyler -  November 7, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    I think this year has been one of ups and downs, we have had technological breakthroughs, hardships in the economy, and much reconsideration and changing of ways. a lot of people are going green, and people are trying to fix some things that have been done and create possibilities for the future. So overall, I would like to see the word “Revolution” as the word of the year, it fits for me, this year has come to a big revolution. Not the revolution of the earth, or a revolution after war, but a a turning of the century and the turning of society as a whole. I hope you take it into consideration!!!

  41. Bonfire -  November 7, 2011 - 3:23 pm

    How about GREED?

  42. Jonathan Liberman -  November 7, 2011 - 3:20 pm

    Tergiversation would be a good word for this year.

  43. sexishanny -  November 7, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    hi ya’ll can any of ya’ll answer my question that i posted up

    thank you

  44. 41A300 -  November 7, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    The word should be: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis! It means, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “a factitious word alleged to mean ‘a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust, causing inflammation in the lungs.” A condition meeting the word’s definition is normally called silicosis

  45. Lynn -  November 7, 2011 - 2:04 pm

    I like zugzwang. The funky aspect of the word makes it perfect.

  46. Archon -  November 7, 2011 - 1:43 pm

    @ John Gaddis

    A good Word Of The Day to learn would be, “alludes”.

  47. Lori -  November 7, 2011 - 1:39 pm

    What about “Irony?” It seems appopriate, since this year has been Ironic. America was told good things would happen, but bad things have happened. We have been deceived by the goverment they used good words to describe bad things. they took something bad and made it appealing to hide the truth. I think it is more fit in the literal sense of America.
    and its even more terrible when your parents can’t hide it from you because even a child can see whats happening around them because we can tell when we have been lied to and we may not know the details of the situation but we get the jist of things so don’t assume we are ignorant because we understand alot more than you think…

  48. Jake -  November 7, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    I don’t think a word of the year should ever simply reflect the political situation during that year (such as “occupy” or “bankrupt”). It should reflect the attitude of the year. Not just in America either, although the word we’re choosing is English.

    I say “Future.” The Mayan calendar signals the end of the old world and the beginning of the new in only a year.

  49. Brandon -  November 7, 2011 - 1:23 pm

    I Like Eve’s Idea with the Harmoniously Proportional. This made me laugh.

  50. Eve -  November 7, 2011 - 1:21 pm

    Hmmmm I don’t know about you guys, but for me this year has gone by pretty fast…. how about speedy, or quick? Maybe this year was “Harmoniously Proportional”

  51. SEXYMAN -  November 7, 2011 - 1:15 pm

    HOW ABOUT “Normal”? it sounds about right ;)

  52. Anonymouse -  November 7, 2011 - 12:31 pm

    The Word of the Year should not be a bad word- and it should be a word that, all in all, wraps not only the best moments and the worst into one, but should be one that describes the overall position- as if it were a chess game- and a general feeling, be it good or bad. Also, all of the words of the year should vary in complexity based on the complexity of the year- so I think it should be decided with a vote how complex and good or bad the year is, then the search to commence for a word describing the situation and emotion that is as diminutive or grand as the year-
    My Thoughts on the Matter
    Possible words used in the entry based on the outcome of the poll-

  53. M@ -  November 7, 2011 - 12:24 pm

    How about “Forgiveness”.

  54. Rachel -  November 7, 2011 - 11:37 am

    :) ;) :( :-* :-l

  55. Rachel -  November 7, 2011 - 11:36 am

    I vote for “winning” <3 :)

  56. Gabe Canterbury -  November 7, 2011 - 11:17 am

    Zugzwang should be the word of the year.

  57. Irene -  November 7, 2011 - 11:14 am

    Can it be two words? My vote: Andy Rooney.

  58. Mr. D [A.K.A] Elysian -  November 7, 2011 - 10:52 am

    “I have to agree with @RubyTuesday, I think overcome would make a very good Word of the Year.”

  59. John -  November 7, 2011 - 10:41 am

    The chess player says zugzwang or “you move, you lose!” The emphathic me says jobs, both jobs and Jobs have highlighted the news.

  60. Jamie -  November 7, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Yes, I agree, the name should be Jamie.

  61. Jamie -  November 7, 2011 - 10:30 am

    The word should be Jamie.

  62. ghost rider -  November 7, 2011 - 10:26 am

    death it is almost 2012

  63. TLM80209 -  November 7, 2011 - 10:20 am


    informal – absolutely correct; very accurate: your prediction was spot-on. World English Dictionary.

  64. Svenjamin -  November 7, 2011 - 9:51 am

    How about “bankruptcy”!?!?!

  65. Annette -  November 7, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Oppugnancy is perfect! I’m opposed to all the repugnant campaigning and politics in action – or is that inaction?

  66. Angie -  November 7, 2011 - 9:42 am

    I think tergiversation should definitely score as “WOTY” because it sums up the entire year and covers so many events both natural and man-made.

  67. DukeMutt -  November 7, 2011 - 9:21 am

    I have to agree with @RubyTuesday, I think overcome would make a very good Word of the Year.

  68. Zoe -  November 7, 2011 - 9:20 am

    I agree with everyone else, “occupy” or else “occupation” is definitely the word of the year, as awesome as zugzwang is.

  69. Greg Coker -  November 7, 2011 - 9:13 am

    I like zugzwang!

  70. creamy -  November 7, 2011 - 9:02 am

    hello everybody

  71. someone -  November 7, 2011 - 8:46 am

    The word should be “Hope”. Hope that the economy will change, hope that someone will create jobs, and hope that 2012 will be much better than 2011.

  72. John Gaddis -  November 7, 2011 - 8:46 am

    Tergiversation works on multiple levels. It’s synonymity to ambiguity and evasiveness is representative of the overall conditions of the past 10 mo. Further, it’s secondary definition “to turn renegade” eludes to the Occupy Movement without being too obviously literal. Lastly, it is a word that I was unfamiliar with which is the very reason that I suscribe to Word of the Day, to learn new words! Thanks!

  73. Ron -  November 7, 2011 - 8:42 am

    2011 being the gateway to world upheaval to political economical change.

  74. Auntie L. -  November 7, 2011 - 8:33 am

    JOBS because it’s on everyone’s mind
    we lost STEVE JOBS, one of the true visionaries of this era.

    So 2 votes for JOBS!!

  75. Auntie L -  November 7, 2011 - 8:28 am

    Jobs because it’s on everyone’s mind PLUS we lost Steve Jobs one of the true visionaries of this era.

  76. Mark -  November 7, 2011 - 8:15 am

    JOBS… for all the people that lost one, and for the one we all lost on October 5th.

  77. Joanna -  November 7, 2011 - 8:04 am

    I like VICISSITUDE for the word of the year!

    Volatile and retribution also seem like good choices.

  78. rene -  November 7, 2011 - 8:02 am

    winner sounds cool

  79. creamy -  November 7, 2011 - 7:59 am

    we need to make the world a better place aint that right my peoples

  80. Tammy -  November 7, 2011 - 7:50 am

    I would vote for; money. “It’s all about the money, money, money.” isn’t that how the song goes.

  81. sexishanny -  November 7, 2011 - 7:47 am

    hey what does enlight mean i know it might sound stupid but im just learning
    thank you for your time

  82. A. Christian -  November 7, 2011 - 7:20 am

    I say overcome.

    Me and many others than I know have had trials to overcome. This year, i have had more trials and hardships and struggles than ever to overcome. (And I say I, but I really mean, y friends and I).

  83. Mudfishin -  November 7, 2011 - 7:08 am


  84. michael hawk -  November 7, 2011 - 7:06 am

    obesity should be the word of the year

  85. Mike -  November 7, 2011 - 7:05 am

    “Squandered” — as in blown opportunity! Word for 2012: “CHANGE!”

  86. Shannon -  November 7, 2011 - 6:55 am

    Do they mean “jobs” as in Steve Jobs or as in America is in need of “jobs”?

  87. Nunya -  November 7, 2011 - 6:42 am

    idk. It should be something like “year of gibberish.” Gibberish. The politician’s talk talk talk (i should get paid thousands just for saying, “yeah, we’re in a recession, we sort of killed osama bin laden, and oh, right, we’re going to raise your taxes. good evening america. Take care.”) so gibberish seems about right. like the talk about kim kardashian’s marriage. gibberish.

  88. Brett -  November 7, 2011 - 6:39 am

    Jobs sounds like it would be in the top 10 because of the fact that so many people are looking for a job because of the employment rate because of how many people getting laid off or are looking for a job.

  89. Fred -  November 7, 2011 - 6:29 am

    My vote is for “jobs.” It speaks of unemployment and lack of jobs, as well as Steve Jobs, of course–of the technology that is so prevalent in our lives now and of his life story that represents the “American Dream.” I think “occupy” speaks of a movement that doesn’t really represent all of us, sounds more violent than is necessary, and is only concerned with a few weeks of the whole year. The issue of jobs and unemployment–as well as that of technology and that of Steve Jobs’ health–is something that has permeated much more of our 2011.

  90. marly huiras -  November 7, 2011 - 5:37 am

    I nominate “jobless,” or “joblessness,” but the latter may be a bit unwieldy.

    I’d like to be more positive, optimistic. And even though there seems to be a slight upward swing in employment, the hopeless, empty feeling that seems to permeate our country (embracing the economy and occupation in foreign hostile lands), the combination of “job” and “less” can personify the year.

    Occupation, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, may be a synonym for job, so that double entendre also falls into place. And “less” certainly describes the status of our economy and many citizens’ pocketbooks.

    “Jobless” embodies the most dominant factors of today; the economy and occupation, with expansion to many arenas.

  91. ray coyle -  November 7, 2011 - 4:23 am

    EURO – it must be Euro, the likely cause of worldwide economic collapse

  92. Poop -  November 7, 2011 - 4:20 am


  93. kathryn -  November 7, 2011 - 4:14 am

    Screwed. One word that applies to the majority. Only people it does not apply to are politicians, bankers and lawyers. Their word of the year should be i’m going to screw you over. I realize it’s more than one word, however, that group always takes what isn’t theirs or more than they should. That being said, their word should be greed. I guess it’s impossible to have one word cover all walks of life.

  94. Cheesy101 -  November 7, 2011 - 3:59 am

    i dont think i can spell it but antidislestablishmentarialism is a good word. As is MOIST.

  95. Lorie -  November 7, 2011 - 3:55 am

    I say the word of this year should be “right”.

    1) The questions of human rights is constantly raised and this year is no different. Many of the Arab nations fought against their regimes and revolted in the name of their human rights. This created a wave of social revolutions against difficult social and financial conditions.
    2) We kept asking ourselves in light of the social and political revolutions what the right way to go is.
    3) This is an era when all of our values are questioned and truth and false mix so well together in the media and in real life. We constantly have to discern right from wrong.

    There are more reasons but this will do for now. Think about it.

  96. serena -  November 7, 2011 - 3:39 am

    I think LIGHTWORKER should be added to the dictionary and be word of the year. Occupy is all about lightworkers.

  97. loretta -  November 7, 2011 - 2:29 am

    chaos is the only word to describe this year. well maybe another that means the same thing.

  98. Winston5 -  November 7, 2011 - 2:09 am

    Sadly, it will be what it could’ve been the last 2 years…the sarcastic “really?!”

  99. edson -  November 7, 2011 - 2:00 am

    compromise or demise would be the word that happen all year round!!

  100. James Cook Jr. -  November 7, 2011 - 1:43 am

    Benign, because it is a pleasant year

  101. James Cook Jr. -  November 7, 2011 - 1:40 am

    Malovent is the word I would use because of the fights I see at skool

  102. Godfrey Chong -  November 7, 2011 - 1:38 am

    It’s practically the same every year to me

  103. Office Politics Master -  November 7, 2011 - 1:24 am

    To those of us that live in Germany, zugzwang is not at all obscure, and the meaning is completely clear (even if we never played chess and knew the word was most established there).

    An alternative suggestion: haircut

  104. Ferdi -  November 7, 2011 - 1:19 am


  105. Saman -  November 7, 2011 - 12:58 am

    yeaaaaaa!! :-w

  106. Rimmon -  November 6, 2011 - 11:48 pm

    For me, the word of this year is “away”. What do you guys think?

  107. V -  November 6, 2011 - 11:23 pm

    I’m confused as to who the wonderfully optimistic “winning” refers to. o_0

  108. applesauce -  November 6, 2011 - 11:13 pm


  109. R.G.Prasad -  November 6, 2011 - 10:58 pm


  110. Josh -  November 6, 2011 - 10:52 pm

    Should be “Jobs” after the apple creator :P

  111. Timothy -  November 6, 2011 - 10:36 pm

    In my opinion…we need a word that describes a quickening evolution or revolution. Our world is advancing exponentially in my eyes. Over social media sites like YouTube, and Facebook. It is an age of advertising and getting your name out there, and being creative. Creativity might be a good one. Some word for exponential growth? Evolution? Revolution? Expanding?

  112. Nadia -  November 6, 2011 - 10:17 pm

    Zugzwang describes 2011 very well. This year has been like a game of chess; not everything’s gone to plan, but we’ve had a flipping great time.

  113. Nick S -  November 6, 2011 - 10:00 pm


    as in our government

  114. yayRay Shell :) -  November 6, 2011 - 9:50 pm


    first of all people do not have JOBS

    and Steve JOBS died

  115. Manraj -  November 6, 2011 - 9:40 pm

    I think the word should be something to do with all the earthquakes like:


    Or maybe some thing to do with the volcanic erruptions.

  116. You Don't Know Who This Is -  November 6, 2011 - 9:39 pm

    Zugzwang for the win! :)

  117. Savio -  November 6, 2011 - 9:34 pm

    Word of the year ” LOVE “

  118. Garrett -  November 6, 2011 - 9:28 pm

    Definetely WINNING. Winning definetely defines me. :p

  119. Summer -  November 6, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    another vote for swag

  120. Raakesh -  November 6, 2011 - 8:50 pm

    How about considering the word “Eternity”

  121. Trish -  November 6, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    I’d say “volatile” is a fitting word for 2011.

  122. Alex that one guy -  November 6, 2011 - 8:26 pm

    Metamorphose : to undergo, or be capable of undergoing, a change in form or nature.

  123. wolverine -  November 6, 2011 - 8:25 pm

    Tergiversation ought to win, as it is appropriate not only for 2011 but for most years in recent American history. It has become trendy for those who know too little seem to take staunch and noisy stances on controversial issues and then rapidly shift their opinions to fit the social climate.

  124. Chris -  November 6, 2011 - 8:01 pm


  125. bin -  November 6, 2011 - 7:50 pm

    winning should be it. i love spatalot speciallt balista

  126. bin -  November 6, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    i reckon it should be winning. yea bro. i just love spatalot and specially balista shes awsome. :)

  127. bin -  November 6, 2011 - 7:47 pm

    what does socialism mean?????????

  128. dani -  November 6, 2011 - 7:28 pm

    Overcome is a fantastic suggestion given the positive and negative connotations – I think it adequately reflects the scale of the challenges we’ve encountered this year…

  129. Slindsey -  November 6, 2011 - 7:15 pm

    Downward. That describes the direction of the USA in politics, morality, ethics, pride, patriotism, honor, and achievement.

  130. Rosalee Alan -  November 6, 2011 - 7:12 pm

    “riot” should be the word of the year

  131. Derek -  November 6, 2011 - 7:07 pm

    With all of the greed, corruption an stupidity prevalent in today’s society, my submission is a simple one. It is a word I hear myself and others utter daily.

  132. Lynn -  November 6, 2011 - 6:52 pm

    The word should have to do with all the storms we’ve had. I think that’s what is prominent in memory of the past year of 2011.

  133. Maddie -  November 6, 2011 - 6:43 pm

    Hands down “winning” is an appropriate word that sums up 2011, from a satirical stand point of course.

  134. Francis -  November 6, 2011 - 6:26 pm

    ‘Tergiversation’ nails it on the head.

  135. Laurie Frazier -  November 6, 2011 - 6:21 pm

    Zugzwang is the best!! I teach school and that was one of the words my kids had for their Word of the Day, so yes!!! Zugzwang – fun to spell and fun to say!

  136. You x2 -  November 6, 2011 - 6:13 pm

    Whatever u do DONT CHOOSE WINNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Charlie Sheen invented this people, let’s think wisely b4 we make his trademark the word to sum all our experiences of 2011!
    OCCUPY should be it!

  137. Nick -  November 6, 2011 - 6:07 pm

    Plutocracy should be the word!

  138. Clara -  November 6, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    I think ‘spring’ is an appropriate word.
    -to come into being, grow, rise, spark… :)

  139. Kiah -  November 6, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    Zugzwang seems like the absolute perfect fit for this past year.

  140. Laurel -  November 6, 2011 - 5:42 pm

    Tergiversation should be the word. There certainly have been many changes and revolutions, with some blood being shed, but, overall, not negative enough for zugzwang or internecine. Meanwhile, winning has too positive a denotation and spring, jobs, and austerity are not as apt a description. It shouldn’t be quietus, because some of the changes are only just beginning. My second choice would probably be occupy, but even that is not quite as good as tergiversation.

  141. Pat -  November 6, 2011 - 5:37 pm

    EPIC that is a winner.

  142. RDR -  November 6, 2011 - 5:29 pm

    Zugzwang is definitely the most accurate in my opinion

  143. pewbs -  November 6, 2011 - 5:17 pm

    Bob for word of the year.

  144. valu rogers -  November 6, 2011 - 5:00 pm

    Why because what ever word wins its the winner so why not winner

  145. valu rogers -  November 6, 2011 - 4:59 pm

    hahahahahahahahaha i reckon that Winning should be the winning word

  146. Phoebe -  November 6, 2011 - 4:51 pm

    I’m inclined towards ‘quietus’, but only because of, you know, Harry Potter ending and all that.

  147. sadatourworld -  November 6, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    truculent or in other words aggressivly hostile or brutal. Because this is how almost all of us act and react to people we do not know or situations we can not relate too. Sad but true. We all need to be more compassionate. We are all in this together after all….yes this means even you too.

  148. TheBookEnthusiast -  November 6, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    Austerity should win, in my personal opinion

  149. Marley Darragh -  November 6, 2011 - 4:42 pm

    Winning, for sure!

  150. John Simons -  November 6, 2011 - 4:41 pm

    It needs to be ‘Winning’.
    Such a positive year, alot of good events have happened and it seems like things like the search for Osama Bin Laden and the reign of Gadaffi all came to a closure this year.
    I think everyone has been in a great mood this year on a whole – it’s been a fantastic year so Winning would be a great way to sum it up.

  151. sequoia -  November 6, 2011 - 4:32 pm

    It should be beginning, because that is what this whole year is all about; starting over, recreating our governments. Really just recreating our whole world.

  152. John -  November 6, 2011 - 4:28 pm


  153. Bi-winning -  November 6, 2011 - 4:22 pm

    “Winning” sounds perfect it represents Charlie Sheen and how he was banging 7-gram rocks.lol…meh

  154. Nicole -  November 6, 2011 - 4:22 pm

    ZUGZWANG ALL THE WAY!!!!! YEA!!!!! :) :) :)

  155. Luke -  November 6, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    after everything, the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the protesting, the rioting, the wars, and the terrorism, we always see hope at the end of the tunnel.
    This was best shown at Bin Laden’s death. We all had achieved a great victory, and had great hope for the future of the world.

  156. sharon -  November 6, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    Conscience should be considered. I think of all years, with Jaycee Dugards situation, and Caylee Anthony’s death all the way to Charlie Sheens antics etc, we could all sum it up with having a conscience.

    Overcome also sounds right. we’ve overcome a lot this year.

  157. Emily D -  November 6, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    Occupy. Hands down.

  158. Jacob -  November 6, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    zugzwang has to win!

  159. Emily -  November 6, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    The word should be “calm” or “serenity” because if 2012 is supposed to be the end of the world, then in simple terms we could say that 2012 will be the “storm” or “tempest”. Since 2011 comes before 2012 and 2012 is the “storm” then 2011 would be the “calm” before the “storm”.

  160. ravenxdeath -  November 6, 2011 - 3:59 pm

    i think tergiversation should be the WOTY…

  161. frosty -  November 6, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    Charlie sheen is not important enough to make word of the year. The Word of the Year should definitely be Rapture, since the world ended in May. hahahaha.

  162. jane -  November 6, 2011 - 3:28 pm

    winning since its not related to politics because politics only result in argument. or any other world that doesn’t involve politics or government

  163. Icie -  November 6, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    The one with a Z in it.

  164. totallynerdy -  November 6, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    I think winning works but what is on everyone’s mind is technology.

  165. patrick -  November 6, 2011 - 2:44 pm

    “winning” should definately be the word of the year

  166. Carbonated Chocolate Cake -  November 6, 2011 - 2:41 pm

    ZUGZWANG MUST WIN!!!!!!!!!

  167. Agent J -  November 6, 2011 - 2:39 pm

    Zugzwang definantly defines this year! :{) moustache man!

  168. whatsmynameagain -  November 6, 2011 - 2:22 pm

    I vote for quietus it is quite the apt word for this year.

  169. Perry -  November 6, 2011 - 2:07 pm


  170. mantaxb -  November 6, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    Duh Winning winning

    i lol at the charlie sheen song “winning” by schmoyoho

    i guess i vote for “winning”

  171. M Vega -  November 6, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    Zugzwang. Taylor, you said it! I also second what Mae said. Zugzwang, where a player’s only move comes with a loss. This is the environment in which we, the 99%, operate. People at the top 1% or 10% seem to have extra players in their sleeves, a.k.a. cheating. We need Election Reform.

  172. Michael -  November 6, 2011 - 1:49 pm

    I was thinking “retribution” considering Osama Bin Laden and Gaddafi’s deaths, and the occupation of wall street.

  173. Suda -  November 6, 2011 - 1:47 pm

    “Eventful” is how I would describe this year! Think Arab Spring, Japan disasters, Occupy Movement, Euro Crisis, U.S credit rating downgrade, Charlie Sheen’s debacle, Kim Kardashian’s swift wedding and swifter divorce and Goldman Sachs’ losing quarter!

  174. paul -  November 6, 2011 - 1:41 pm

    i think the word should be “wasted” coz the last year in the uk was a joke i think with debt going through the roof,looting ,knife crime ,unemployment ..every thing has gone up except wages ..no one trusts no one ..why is everybody coming to england ..i reckon it will be whens everyone leaving the lol

  175. That Catfish -  November 6, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    ‘jobs’ in honor of Steve, because without apple, this would be a different age

  176. Skybread -  November 6, 2011 - 12:07 pm

    Tergiversation, its a perfect summary of this year on a worldwide basis, though my word of the year would be Spring, every sense of the word is joyful.

  177. jkm -  November 6, 2011 - 12:06 pm

    winning it is what it is :}

  178. Ruth -  November 6, 2011 - 11:58 am

    Tergiversation is a fabulous word, sadly. As they say, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” Those of us in the US need to remember that what built us (faith, hope, courage) is exactly the opposite of what tears us apart (anger, hatred, despair).

  179. ThatGuy -  November 6, 2011 - 11:24 am

    I think “exhausted” is the perfect word. Not only does it apply to us physically and mentally, but also is an apt description of finances, resources, political ideas, patience, etc.

  180. jess -  November 6, 2011 - 11:20 am

    I know it’s not in the list, but discombobulated or antidisestablishmentarianism would be my favourites.

  181. She -  November 6, 2011 - 11:17 am

    I say internecine. There is a lot of struggle in political parties, plus a lot of “real” fighting, aka war.

  182. Fanny Eyre -  November 6, 2011 - 10:54 am

    Why not try the word profession?

  183. Karina -  November 6, 2011 - 10:25 am

    My vote is for zugzwang. I really didn’t like any of the other words, but this one is so accurate. I can understand why people would want “jobs” for this year, but we’ve LOST jobs and Jobs. The word of the year should actually represent the situation, not represent what we’ve lost.

  184. Amy Lopez -  November 6, 2011 - 10:18 am

    i recommend that the word of the year should be both negative and positive because there has been bad times but also good times so i think it the word of the year is not here

  185. Thomas Bosco -  November 6, 2011 - 10:14 am


  186. Surie -  November 6, 2011 - 9:50 am

    I agree with many others when I say that occupy would definitely be a fit word for 2011.

  187. singgirl -  November 6, 2011 - 9:33 am


  188. Simona -  November 6, 2011 - 9:29 am

    internecine gets my vote

  189. Matt Bonnell -  November 6, 2011 - 9:08 am

    What about “uprising”?

  190. A.Valdez. -  November 6, 2011 - 9:04 am

    How about “crappy?”

  191. TheFalsk -  November 6, 2011 - 8:59 am

    I second Adversity, mentioned much higher up. Seems plenty of countries have faced their fair share this year. Japan with it’s earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear problems; all the Middle Eastern countries and their overthrowing of rulers; Greece and the other countries of the UN trying to stay afloat; the U.S. and it’s abundant economic and political issues.

    And not just facing, but overcoming adversity as well. The U.S. hit it’s ten year mark of 9/11, Libya finally overthrew it’s dictator after months of war, and all.

    Then again, maybe I just want a word that has as much sobering meaning behind it as optimism, unlike “winning…”

  192. Rosa -  November 6, 2011 - 8:56 am

    I think this is a good idea, with all the stealing of multi billions of dollars, backing biting, people calling evil good, finding a word to describe this worldly chaos will be a task in itself.

  193. Alice -  November 6, 2011 - 8:51 am

    I think something to do with the Royal Wedding. Something like ‘Regal’, ‘Monarchial’ or ‘Resplendent’.

  194. Tomar el sol -  November 6, 2011 - 8:44 am

    I have to agree with ruby tuesday, OVERCOME is a perfect word for the year and also very inspiring for the years to come

  195. BigD -  November 6, 2011 - 8:17 am

    Revolution or democracy, or something like that I think is fairly appropriate what with Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, etc.

  196. Radcliffe -  November 6, 2011 - 8:14 am

    Winning. And like Ami said, ‘epic’ should be on the list

  197. BigD -  November 6, 2011 - 8:12 am

    Occupy? No! The whole occupy movement is just a tiny part of the year. We need to think what people will associate 2011 with in the future. Sure, they will think, maybe, “oh yeah, the whol Occupy things happened”, but I doubt it will be their main connection.
    Jobs:What? As in Steve? No.
    Spring: What’s that supposed to mean?
    Austerity: Maybe
    Winning: Huh? Winning what?

    Also, guys, it isn’t just about America: “the ever-evolving Republican primary campaigns may have much more in store for us as well. Perhaps someone will utter something so remarkable it will make Charlie Sheen’s unsettling loquacity seem tame.”
    That’s from the above article, and I have absolutely no idea what it is about.
    How about something to do with the Euro crisis, which is probably more important than the Republican party campaign and Charlie Sheen (whoever he is).

  198. WORDOFTHEYEAR | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  November 6, 2011 - 7:44 am

    [...] ‘Word of the Year’ in November — For the ‘Splinterwebs’ that’s early — The Daze of rapid transformation is like volatility in the Wall Street Occupation. — Or Stocks and Bonds, What have you — Larry, Moe and Curley — or some other Slapstick situation. — Walk Like an Egyptian or be Crazy Like the Fox. — We’ll trow our support to ‘Aries Spirit’ and Give a nod to ‘JOBS’. –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DEMOCRAZY, DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme, RUPERTDRIVES and tagged De Nile, Democracy, LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  199. Christina -  November 6, 2011 - 7:27 am

    The direction of the word of the year should head towards the obscure but apt category. I love them. The first category… eh boring.

  200. Susie -  November 6, 2011 - 7:21 am

    “Epic” as in epic win, epic fail, etc. Of course, the word itself has lost its epicness by overuse.

    Second choice–app. Did the word exist five years ago?

    Third choice–jobs, in honor of Steve.

  201. Marcia -  November 6, 2011 - 7:16 am

    Perhaps “plutocracy” should be considered. The United States has become or is very close to being a plutocracy rather than a democracy.

  202. Tithenion -  November 6, 2011 - 7:16 am

    I think that the word “jobs” is very appropriate. The focus of so many that I personally know is on jobs, and I know there are many others who face this same problem. Just coming out of college, it’s been difficult for some of us to find a job at all, let alone one in our field. Jobs, along with the economy, have been a huge topic in our country this year. It comes at a critical time, too, when presidential candidates are throwing around their ideas on how to fix these issues.

    Also, you can’t forget that this is the year that we lost a truly great mind in Steve Jobs.

  203. Shawn C -  November 6, 2011 - 7:12 am

    How about “drone”? Arguably no word’s meaning has changed more forcefully over the past five years.

  204. jtc -  November 6, 2011 - 7:08 am

    i think it should be occupado

  205. Theodora Philcox -  November 6, 2011 - 7:02 am

    Infrastructure. It’s used on every news bulletin, and drives me mad. Is it really the best word in every situation. For me it’s the word of 2011 and I hate it.

  206. Hannah -  November 6, 2011 - 6:54 am

    really love zugzwang, although it is negative it is apt for the situation we are in right now.

  207. Al A. Britto -  November 6, 2011 - 6:53 am

    Oops! Sorry for the spelling mistake in “Steve Jobs’ death” in my suggestion message above.

  208. Al A. Britto -  November 6, 2011 - 6:43 am

    Soaring unemployment in many countries and Steve Job’s death. The word of the year for 2011 is “jobs”.

  209. Daniel -  November 6, 2011 - 6:34 am

    All of them are snoozers. “Winning” doesn’t deserve ANY mention due to Sheen’s irrelevance.

    “Occupacity” is my creation and suggestion. It’s an amalgamation of a few words. The “audacity” of the OWS movement (that could have either a positive or negative connotation) as well as “capacity” as in, ‘Have you reached your limit?’ or ‘How much more can you/we take?’ “City” as this moves from city to city. And of course, “occupy” (duh).

    How about another original: “Occupidity” (“occupidiot,” etc.) as a close second? Surely this word needs no breakdown and says volumes, whether used to describe a group or that ‘jeez-get-out-of-my-face-already!’ pest.

  210. darta -  November 6, 2011 - 6:33 am

    None of the suggested words seem to quite nail it. I think the word ‘riot’ is far better.

  211. sidsters -  November 6, 2011 - 6:33 am


  212. Katie -  November 6, 2011 - 6:29 am


  213. donna -  November 6, 2011 - 5:56 am

    hopeful, so many hopeless this yr and future bleak, gotta have hope

  214. RR -  November 6, 2011 - 5:50 am

    Oppugnancy. For this has been both the best, and worst year of my life.

    My mom lost her job; my grandma got stage three cancer; the car blew up; my dad’s family disowned me; my only real life friend moved 1000 miles away.


    My mom got a new job, and was promoted to manager in three months; after a few months of chemo, my grandma is cancer free; we got a new car; I got the uncommon breed of dog I’ve always wanted, and under very strange circumstances; I made a new friend.

    Very contrary, I would say. And most people I’ve talked to have had a similar experience this year.

  215. Laura -  November 6, 2011 - 5:37 am

    occupation (in all senses of the word)
    resource curse
    the 99 percent

  216. Rebecca -  November 6, 2011 - 5:32 am

    Obscure though it may be, “zugzwang” is one of the more appropriate word choices for the entire year.

  217. Rose -  November 6, 2011 - 5:30 am

    Haboob is the Word of the Year in Phoenix AZ.

  218. Ole TBoy -  November 6, 2011 - 5:29 am

    How’s this for the most simple choice for word of the year:


    It seems to be the only word Congress knows how to say.

  219. Sorinaai -  November 6, 2011 - 4:40 am

    To celebrate the Arabian revolution, the best Word of the Year should be JASMINE. It has a nice ring to it as well!

  220. kurt -  November 6, 2011 - 4:26 am

    How about “vetted” or “intransigence”

  221. Carol -  November 6, 2011 - 4:22 am

    i think that jobs should be the winning word this year

  222. dan -  November 6, 2011 - 3:47 am

    The question asked: “What should the 2011 Word of the Year?”

    Shouldn’t it read: What should (be) the 2011 Word of the Year? — or What should the 2011 Word of the Year (be)?

    Maybe there should be two words: “To be” — or three words ” Not to be”

    Just one word or one word missing?

  223. Mary Wilbur -  November 6, 2011 - 3:34 am

    I suggest “unemployment” as the word of the year.

  224. Dave -  November 6, 2011 - 3:05 am

    “Fubar” – hands down the winner….

  225. John -  November 6, 2011 - 3:05 am

    Falling. That’s the word for 2011.

  226. MicheBel -  November 6, 2011 - 3:01 am

    Memorializing a lunatic (Sheen) doesn’t seem like the best choice, nor does anyone but the bankers and the Koch Brothers seem to be “winning” this year.

    In the year Steve Jobs died, “app” does seem appropriate.

    Perhaps “open-source” and/or “transparency,” since that is among the items that OccupyAmerica is fighting for? “Freedom”?

    Or just “Occupy.” Or “Legion.”

    Those are the important ones.

  227. John -  November 6, 2011 - 2:58 am

    How did “spring” get in the top 10? It’s stupid and makes absolutely no sense. What kind of crap is this?

  228. Tash -  November 6, 2011 - 2:56 am

    I think the word should be awkward….. everyone says it all the time now and i think it just about sums up media events that have happened in some sense, Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage- awkward. In Australia- The Melbourne cup that should have been a draw because there was like 1 millimetre between the horses- awkward. Julia Gillard- awkward and ofcourse all the proper important news.

  229. John -  November 6, 2011 - 2:52 am

    How about making the title of this article grammatically correct? Would that “be” asking too much?

  230. Iyre -  November 6, 2011 - 2:43 am

    spring. (2 definitions) a coil and a season.

  231. BR -  November 6, 2011 - 2:22 am

    ‘Meltdown’ could apply to two separate events this year: Fukishima (literally) and Greece (figuratively). The word can be applied to almost any apocalyptic event in which a chain of reactions lead to disaster.

  232. kelly -  November 6, 2011 - 2:02 am

    what about “sex”?

  233. angelina -  November 6, 2011 - 2:01 am

    the word should be “bully”
    a lot of kids are now bullied and this should stop

  234. John -  November 6, 2011 - 2:45 am

    Well, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconeosis should be a candidate. If not, labia majora, or labia minora should sum it up nicely. So hard to pick a word that sums up a terrible year.

  235. joseph -  November 6, 2011 - 1:46 am

    It maybe offline at the moment, but i made up a verb myself, and that is “to vippify” and “to de-vippify”, coming from VIP. Anyways, VIP’s play an important role in the world crisis. They also developed immunity against it.

  236. Muuj -  November 6, 2011 - 1:43 am

    how about the word “anodyne”? i think people everywhere would be in need of such a word, don’t you think?

  237. Ezgi -  November 6, 2011 - 1:16 am

    I am all for “zugzwang.” Yet, I am curious how did the stiff chess players came up with this colorful word?

  238. Jonathan -  November 6, 2011 - 1:15 am

    And someone’s already mentioned this, but the title of this article is missing a ‘to be’ verb. It should read “What should the 2011 word of the year be?”, but instead it reads “What should the 2011 word of the year?

    p.s. volatile is good too, like Jackson suggested.

  239. Jonathan -  November 6, 2011 - 1:08 am

    How about transition? It’s not exactly a complex word, but I think it fits. Things are changing, we’re moving from one state to the next, but it’s hard to be sure what that new state is or if it will be good, we only know we can’t stay where we are, and we’re disagreeing over what direction to follow to get there.

    If I must choose from one of the words on the list, I like zugzwang.

  240. eDuardo -  November 6, 2011 - 12:49 am

    Deport report: eport.

  241. Wels -  November 6, 2011 - 12:40 am


  242. Taylor -  November 6, 2011 - 12:33 am

    Zugzwang. Please read the definition everyone, it is the most accurate word for the year, as well as interesting diction.

  243. M. Baez -  November 5, 2011 - 11:52 pm

    OCCUPY is my first choice and embezzelers my second choice for the mess that people like Maddox, Corzine, Brant and others left us with!!!

  244. Aditi -  November 5, 2011 - 10:55 pm

    It should be “zugzwang” – if I had to make a closed choice. Else (Go ahead, call me a hopeless pessimist) I’d pick “despondency”, “melancholy” or “sombre” – if I were to sum up the general emotional tone over the year.

  245. Sam S. -  November 5, 2011 - 10:31 pm

    A list of words that came to mind while pondering 2011:

    Angst. Tribulation. Awakening. Consciousness. Transition. Indignation. Conflagration. Greed. Altruism. Utopia. Revolution. Evolve. Justice. Turmoil. Mercurial. Oneness. Humanity. Syncretism.

  246. abcdefg -  November 5, 2011 - 10:16 pm

    i think we go with zugzwang it looks cool

  247. John Thompson -  November 5, 2011 - 10:16 pm

    A synonym for “double dip” would work, but I can’t find one, not to be negative or anything. Or perhaps “harbinger”?

  248. austerity is winner! -  November 5, 2011 - 10:05 pm

    and winning sounds funny cuz this year wasnt exactly a winner… wrong description for a not so good year.

  249. austerity is winner! -  November 5, 2011 - 10:04 pm

    why though?
    i think austrerity. thatsounds awesome>!!!

  250. Destiny -  November 5, 2011 - 9:50 pm

    “By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.” – Job 41:18
    America certainly sneezed during the 2008 Presidential election, and many eyelids are finally fluttering back open after that spasmodic mishap. The morning that these many are awakening to is the truth.
    Neesings could also adhere to the revolutions and civil unrests of the Middle East, Egypt and Yemen as prime examples. Egyptians and Yemeni have awoken from the prevailing sleep. Even Hosni Mubarak seems to have neesed his way to his own putsch…didn’t see it coming.

  251. jiya -  November 5, 2011 - 9:49 pm

    i think “jobs” is more suitable…no matter jobs and vacancies are less now let’s hope for the best!

  252. parus -  November 5, 2011 - 9:13 pm

    it should be IBM for sure…

  253. Mae -  November 5, 2011 - 8:51 pm

    The only words which could describe 2011 are expletives.

  254. Vannathan -  November 5, 2011 - 8:47 pm

    I agree with Alexander. Winning is far too light for such a heavy, and yet swift year. Also, I believe this occupy movement is the revolution of my generation. I stand by it. Also, I think the definition of ‘occupy’ is strong; selecting it would honour those who’ve been incarcerated and injured unjustly for their beliefs and their public presence over the past weeks. If I may, I’d like to vote the word ‘unite’. Our nation, as it stands today, is still under the name ‘United’; the United States of America was founded ‘by the people, for the people’ so many years ago. Our forefathers did not ignore the definitions of the words they used when creating the documents that stitched what has grown to be home for so many millions of people. What better way to explain ‘unite’ than to remember how this u.s. of a. began?

  255. Quint -  November 5, 2011 - 8:37 pm

    A wise man once said, “Winning”

  256. bob -  November 5, 2011 - 8:34 pm


  257. ecw -  November 5, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    OCCUPY simply must be the word of 2011 (imho!) — it not only has seized the imagination of people throughout the world, but also become a catch-all phrase for grassroots uprising — the only other possible contender is “Arab Spring”, but “Occupy” has taken on even broader connotations. I think one could justifiably say that the Arab Spring is an example of the Occupy Movement … even though the former term came first. It’s like the Arab Spring spread out way beyond the limits of the Arab world and took on global proportions.

  258. Morite -  November 5, 2011 - 8:26 pm

    how about ”search”

  259. Morite -  November 5, 2011 - 8:24 pm

    ‘quietus’ sounds good from Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. I have had to deal with a lot, make so many life altering decisions this year. Been sad inside but had to put up a front so i dnt burden anyone. Plus avoid making a spectacle of myself. Anyways, m still in search of a word.

  260. S -  November 5, 2011 - 8:16 pm

    zugzwang sounds like an awesome word. Not entirely sure what it means, but its an awesome word.

  261. Afzal -  November 5, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    COLLATERAL – tis must be

    Exists in every kind of relationship!
    In Truth; Love; Finance; Politics; CRIME; Religion;

    Else, tis must be GOOGLE

  262. Nicole -  November 5, 2011 - 7:58 pm

    Pain. This year, I feel that we have received pain from major events.

  263. Ismael -  November 5, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    zugzwang seems appropriate.

  264. Raul -  November 5, 2011 - 7:49 pm

    “Memories” – This word would fit perfectly for this year. (Please read)

    There were many mundane events that went on this year that made an emotional impact due to the people’s memories. Forinstance, we recently had our 10th anniversary with the 9/11 crisis. Our nation remembered it in a very deep matter, especially the people who were struck the hardest, like the firefighters, the survivors, families and workers who surrounded the area. Where the Twin Towers stood 10 years ago is the memorial pool with all of our fallen brothers and sisters names inscribed on the perimeter on the metal slab. We all experienced the memories through family, friends, teachers, collegues, co-workers, mentors/mentees, random people who heard your conversation and became your friend and other ways that you have learned from a person.

    Another example would be this Occupy Movement. I fully understand what is going on, memory wise. We remember that back in the ’80′s, we started to be treated unequaly but didn’t really notice because we established the ‘economic Boom’ and today’s Baby Boomer’s are getting hit because of not enough money going out to them because of some greedy corporations. I’m 17 in Oakland, Ca and I know how these things relate and why it is going on. General strikes are going on and long protests and people camoing at a memorial site, based on what I have read so far. Like how the people renamed Frank Ogawa Plaza to Oscar Grant Plaza, in ‘Memory’. We also will remember how the Oakland Police rudely ‘bulleyed’ our war veterans. The Occupy Movement is understood to be a Mundane topic, and unequality has been remembered throughout the world not only in this year, but years and years before.

    Another example would be the war in Afghanistan. We remember the people who are sacrificing their time away from their family and most importantly their lives to grant us our ‘FREEDOM AND EQUALITY!!’ So, what is going on in America and around the world? Their is no need for greed. Be thankful that their are strong souls and warriors out there in battle so that a skinny or fat rich guy can kick back and collect their millions or billions that they do not really need. I respect Warren Buffet for donating a majority of his money to charities, but made his great granddaughter mad because he dissowned her and removed her from his family, that sort of got me. I do not truly know if the corps. have this excess money because they are slefish and greedy and play crechet all their life or that they make bonds or use it to keep their company alive. I watched the documentary, ‘Top 1%’ about the sone from the ‘Johnson Johnson’ company got mad and wanted to document this situation. Anyways, I do not see the equality these ‘Giving’ people whom we do not know are giving to us. It seems that the 99% care about this while the 1% thinks that they are on top of the world.

    Overall, ‘Memories’ would be the most perfect word for the year of 2011.

    Kepp in consideration about the memories since the 1980′s, the greedy 1%, the Occupy movement, 9/11, Our heros. Without memories, 2011 would not have these events take place.

    We would be described as heartless and inconsiderate if we do not have memories in our minds (I do not typically mean for this sentence to think for the word of the year).

    Memories would work.

  265. Shannon -  November 5, 2011 - 7:34 pm

    I feel that the Word of the Year should describe the word’s situation at the time it is picked. Perhaps “cataclysmic”? Regarding the global protests, the state of the global economy, and these violent forces of nature that have destroyed so much around the world, among other violent upheavals.

  266. Melanie -  November 5, 2011 - 7:17 pm

    I give my vote to “internecine”. I don’t think that there’s a word better suited to the global political climate right now. Seems like we are going to have a lot of nose-less politicians come January.

  267. Ben -  November 5, 2011 - 6:43 pm

    Wanton should be the word of the year, just because it’s the most beast word I’ve ever known.

  268. heather gee -  November 5, 2011 - 6:39 pm

    I like a previous idea given as “koyaanisquatsi” but also “occupy”.
    Where would we be without Julian Assange and “Wikileaks” in 2011?

    I wish drone would be the death-drone of the those Govt / people perpetuating all the violence against protesters, torture against detainees, spying, incarceration without trial, creating fear and racism, religous intolerance, Tea Party lies, mistreatment of those suffering poverty, imposing sanctions that harm health, well-being and education of innocent people and deliberately holding people back from progress. The list is endless….

  269. bride -  November 5, 2011 - 6:29 pm

    The word of the year should definitely be internecine. This word perfectly describes the past year. It is also a word that enhances many people’s vocabulary.

  270. Joe -  November 5, 2011 - 6:25 pm

    Well this year definitely is more of a year of progression, as we are agreeing to words of contradiction like oppugnant or zugszwang as well as winning and austerity.

    From my sources over at infowars.com, the news normally has something messed up to read about and yet we can still consider it “progressing”, but we can also consider as more negative considering this GREAT recession, or flat depression.

    If I can think of a name or word that will exemplify relative matters up to date, I would like The Godfather would be a pathetic try, but a try at all.

    Zugzwang sounds great, but are we specifically more in a zugzwang right now, or if things get worse next year, wouldn’t we want to call THAT zugzwang? I’m thinking either way, this year pretty much is zugzwang, even there have been many years of people’s personal events of zugzwang.

    What about a word that means something along the lines of what 11 stands for?: two, homosexual, outerbounds (as in counting five fingers, the spaces in between, and the final two spaces on the outer boundaries, which may represent the total void within human touch: technology and business advancement… or FBI abilities of what defines “large eyes.”

    Maybe we can have a better choice AFTER we find out INITIAL meanings of the word, or number: 11 and it’s common use before 12 and the “unlucky” 13. Numbers seem to have a logical relation and who knows what they are? What 1, then 2 will mean? Then EVERY bit of math between them like: 1 minus 2 = 11… or -1! Then 1 + 2 = 3. There seems to be some significance there before it hits 14. If every single number has a meaning, I wonder if it gets harder to calculate its meaning the further you go to a larger number…

  271. Rachelle -  November 5, 2011 - 6:08 pm

    I think ‘austerity’ is the perfect word. The economic crisis all over the world. Many recessions and bail-outs mean that this word should be Word Of The Year.

  272. Laura -  November 5, 2011 - 5:45 pm

    I think it should be “FEAR” because that is what all of those words mean that your saying. Crisis, VOLATILE, jobs, occupy,War
    Economy, Death. Life isn’t like this for me. Make a change and you’ll see life differently! Just sayin!

  273. steve -  November 5, 2011 - 5:40 pm


  274. tired -  November 5, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    I think the woty should be tergiversation. It makes sense because people need to quit complaining about the “austerity” of the economy and actually do something about it. Who put congress in office, who care more about their personal gains than the people of the country? WE ALL DID! Every last person who is of age. Whose fault is it major corporations have more control than what the public thinks they have? OURS! Who can change things? US! I think when people realize how stupid they are (not saying im not) then major tergiversation will happen.

  275. a.neshebendi -  November 5, 2011 - 5:15 pm

    Warum ist der Buchstabe A in der Sprache ist immer am Anfang

  276. Ben -  November 5, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    I think ‘unrest’ would be most appropriate. In terms of the economy, the natural world, and humanity’s future…

    O happy days!

  277. Balraj Cheema -  November 5, 2011 - 5:02 pm

    Occupy is perhaps the most powerful definition of year 2011

  278. Kaspar Vandale -  November 5, 2011 - 5:01 pm

    i vote for occupy.

    they’re empty and broken llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll and they’re gone

  279. Eyore -  November 5, 2011 - 4:49 pm

    Apocalyptic sounds about right

  280. Romy -  November 5, 2011 - 3:25 pm

    “spring” because it’s been a beautiful year, as every day is beautiful. We’ve sprang forward with technology, and all these heart-touching stories we hear on the news, of poeple making a difference, and spreading an influence. Those are the blooming flowers of our year. Of course, it rains and storms in the spring, and that shows our dropping economy and government. Every down has an up. We spring back and forth. Spring is appropriate for the Word of the Year.

  281. Tutu -  November 5, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    NOT “winning” -_- reminds me of charlie sheen.
    and epic sounds good to.- Ami’s request

  282. A. nonymous -  November 5, 2011 - 3:05 pm

    The best quote of all time:

    “Patience is greater than wisdom”

    More or less

  283. myschtifiet_unt_Kundtfuschdt -  November 5, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    I can’t find just one word to say
    So Im gonna pull the old kobiachi maru
    On you and get my way

    Emotionally: heavy…scary
    Politically: Volatile…very
    Socially: luminous…barely
    Spiritually: Ominous. Verily
    Potentially: Dangerous… obviously
    Historically: Precipitous…. discuss, discuss

    Personally: enervating
    Philosophically: fascinating

  284. Kendra Winter -  November 5, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    Zugzwag of course!

  285. Lisa Pedersen -  November 5, 2011 - 2:06 pm

    “Revolutionary” – both personally and globally. Power to the people!

  286. Dawn -  November 5, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    I think the word should be IPhone. R.I.P Steve Jobs

  287. V'le -  November 5, 2011 - 12:58 pm

    zugzwang?! Life is not a chess game. Every mode of proclaimed recover has been nothing more that another shovel full of dirt. The whole todo is disgraceful.

  288. V'le -  November 5, 2011 - 12:50 pm

    The pathetic upheaval which has been wreaking havoc within the USA of late, is not merely pitiable & deplorable, but scandalous to say the least. The last: scandalous, probably sums it up the best.

  289. ladybuglover -  November 5, 2011 - 11:28 am

    zugzwang! it sounds so cool! (and i like unusual words)

  290. Shawn -  November 5, 2011 - 11:02 am

    I think loquacity is common, in 2011. I like the Perry Ferrell song, Ocean Size, the line that says “no talk/all action!” I feel like that when I’m in the ocean. In contrast, our America right now is all loquacity, little decisive, united, harmonious action.

  291. Ami -  November 5, 2011 - 10:51 am

    What about “epic”? I’ve heard that word used much more frequently this year than ever before, and it seems to somehow capture the year as well. The problems being brought forward seem epic in scope…

  292. tessa -  November 5, 2011 - 10:31 am

    i think the word of the year should be occupy because if it is winning it seems to depressing……:(

  293. redwoodtree -  November 5, 2011 - 10:25 am

    I’m not sure if any of them work exactly although I think the most accurate would be ‘zugzwang.’ It also sounds cool!

  294. Staisha -  November 5, 2011 - 10:17 am

    occupy is about right! winning doesnt seem right for a sort of depressing year!

  295. sherryyu -  November 5, 2011 - 9:47 am

    occupyshould be the winner op i meant could be sorry

  296. Vera -  November 5, 2011 - 9:35 am

    I don’t know really know what the word should be, but I think it would have to do something with Assertion, Attainment, or Adversity.

  297. AKM -  November 5, 2011 - 9:07 am

    zugzwang, definitely.

  298. Sara -  November 5, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Occupy has a more forceful feeling to it, and because recently of this year seems to be filled with force I feel that it is appropriate.

  299. Timothy J. Toler -  November 5, 2011 - 8:52 am

    Well, pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconeosis should be a candidate. If any word describes the last year, than I would say that it would have to be pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconeosis. I think we may just be better off inhaling a bunch of glass dust than trying to rely on corrupt politicians to change a corrupt system that benefits themselves.

  300. A-18-K -  November 5, 2011 - 8:39 am

    How about ‘pandemonium’? The chaos that’s starting to ooze out of all of our old bad choices is beginning its great effect on the human race. You know, the economy and all…and the world preparing itself for the end. I think that ‘pandemonium’ fits well.

  301. AnWulf -  November 5, 2011 - 8:24 am

    I vote for zugzwang. Occupy? – yawn.

  302. Vikhaari -  November 5, 2011 - 8:12 am

    Austerity has to be the “winning” word of 2011, my first choice–thank heavens it is on the list. It is appropriate and should be justified what we are going through right now, currently.
    Yes, it is only November and also there’s a lot of uncertainty around the world regarding economic and other difficulties. The global citizen belonging to 99% must learn and practise this wonderous measure to survive a little longer against 1%. Of course it is difficult, but they can do it.
    Final choice of mine should be HS, Hs, or hs, whichever way you, my friend/pal, choose, go for it and make it a revolutionary one. HS, Hs, or hs is not fussy; it is very much agreeable and servile only to you. It’s for both genders. It awaits you and your recognition patiently. It’s only two letters, tiny and perhaps fragile yet subtle, and definitely should be not weak but invincibly courageous . Be loud and proud of it while using it. I introduced this hs to you before and also only yesterday I wrote about it.
    Good luck.

  303. bholland -  November 5, 2011 - 8:02 am

    “Transitory” works for me.

  304. me -  November 5, 2011 - 7:51 am

    3 ideas for word of the year:

  305. Abby -  November 5, 2011 - 7:28 am

    one of the funky words would be funny.

  306. Chess GM -  November 5, 2011 - 7:21 am

    “Libya” or “Democracy” ;)

  307. Earl J Carstensen -  November 5, 2011 - 7:15 am


  308. Muriel -  November 5, 2011 - 6:49 am

    Quietus appropriate, after the demise of all those political dictatorships.

  309. Nshera -  November 5, 2011 - 6:41 am

    I think that the word of the year should be vacillating.

  310. Malik -  November 5, 2011 - 6:28 am

    How about “failure?” That’s all we’ve done this year, right? Failed to get jobs, failed to help poverty (the rich are getting richer while the rest of us are getting poorer), failed to do a lot of other things. Can anyone else think about what we’ve failed at?

  311. Shawn C -  November 5, 2011 - 6:25 am

    How about “drone”?

  312. weishrjung -  November 5, 2011 - 6:20 am

    the word “grotty” should be on the list–it’s been that kind of year

  313. Justin -  November 5, 2011 - 5:05 am

    “be” :)

  314. Brian -  November 5, 2011 - 4:36 am

    How about making the title of this article be grammatically correct?

  315. AriesSpirit -  November 5, 2011 - 4:24 am

    ‘JOBS’ – this has been uppermost in the thoughts of millions all around the world. Never before has having a job signified such importance.
    Why else have there been so many economic uprisings, political turmoil and instability, with revolutionary masses rebelling against despotic rulers?
    Austerity has been a big theme of 2011, easily taking pole position as the main barrier to global growth, and the act of protesting for jobs has been highly contagious, spreading like flu from one country to the next.
    As an additional point in favour of this word, let’s not forget 2011 was the year in which the world lost Steve Jobs, a visionary and pioneer of the personal computer revolution … someone who brought about the creation of many jobs!

  316. Jackson Bollock -  November 5, 2011 - 4:20 am


    This word is the first that came to mind. It sums up the markets, the changes, the problems, the mix of hope and desperation, the cacophony of voices, the floods, the famines, as well as my own life.

  317. Moe A -  November 5, 2011 - 4:14 am

    I think “occupy” is a consistent theme that precedes some of the most memorable changes of 2011, as well as demonstrates the global effort that was initiated to overcome this obstacle once and for all.

  318. franky -  November 5, 2011 - 3:34 am

    Austerity is one that has embedded itself into everyone’s vocabulary. Altruism would be just as significant.

  319. humandictionary -  November 5, 2011 - 3:34 am

    ‘zugzwang’ is the appropriate word. I mean, after all, the world is ending in 2012.

  320. joseph -  November 5, 2011 - 2:48 am

    Let me quote:
    “Should the Word of the Year be one that was actually used with frequency?”
    In that case the position “word of the year” would be disputed among very few four-letter-words of the obscene type used along in close correlation with “Jesus”, as one can hear in those whatever American films.
    I think “austerity” could be THE word, or something linked to banks. It also could be a sentence of the year like: “No banker was arrested so far”.

  321. Gavin Cruickshank -  November 5, 2011 - 2:13 am

    Whenever there has been a financial difficulty this year, it is invariably described as a, “Crisis,” so I am surprised that it has not made the top ten.

  322. Luciana -  November 5, 2011 - 1:45 am

    occupy the dictionary!!

  323. Shane -  November 5, 2011 - 1:35 am

    I think austerity will do…coz as what has been happening to our economy, it has been very not good…so i think that will do…we are having an austerity budget….lol

  324. John -  November 5, 2011 - 12:51 am

    Hmmm – if you want it to correlate with this year, then go with parsimonious… or jobs.

  325. Michelle -  November 5, 2011 - 12:10 am

    I had thought “toppled” more apt than “occupy”, given that mother nature has also contributed to a lot of toppled buildings, homes and incomes this past year! Political topplings aside, there has been so much more that has toppled this year. Ideals, secret things, political regimes, mountains, lakes, rivers! It’s been all falling down around our literal and figurative feet, it seems!

    But… given that Occupy is the obvious Word Zeitgeist du Jour, then so be it.

    As for a complex and obscure word… I am leaning towards ‘internecine’ in the sense of people struggling against other forces and powers within their own nations and/or political constructs. It doesn’t quite work for people struggling with nature and its forces, but it will do for now.

  326. Michelle -  November 5, 2011 - 12:09 am

    I had thought “Toppled” more apt than “occupy” given that mother nature has also contributed to a lot of toppled buildings, homes and incomes this past year! Political topplings aside, there has been so much more that has toppled this year. Ideals, secret things, political regimes, mountains, lakes, rivers! It’s been all falling down around our literal and figurative feet, it seems!

    But… given that Occupy is the obvious Word Zeitgeist du Jour, then so be it.

    As for a complex and obscure word… I am leaning towards ‘internecine’ in the sense of people struggling against other forces and powers within their own nations and/or political constructs. It doesn’t quite work for people struggling with nature and its forces, but it will do for now.

  327. Jeanne Cargill -  November 4, 2011 - 11:15 pm

    How about “bifurcating” or “divisive”

  328. SavetheEarth -  November 4, 2011 - 10:51 pm

    That’s a very hard question. :/

  329. RubyTuesday -  November 4, 2011 - 10:50 pm

    I think the word of the year should be “overcome”. Everyone has faced difficulty this year but people are rebuilding and have overcome their problems.

  330. Nerdasaurus -  November 4, 2011 - 10:28 pm

    Now, I must wonder: Is “jobs” on that list because of the concern for the economy or as a subliminal tribute to a great mind?

  331. Ch.saiprasanna -  November 4, 2011 - 9:49 pm

    To me austerity is apt as the ecönmic crisis had alarmingly increasing

  332. Wet noodle -  November 4, 2011 - 9:18 pm

    ‘Winning’ sounds like a WOTY…

  333. Rustgold -  November 4, 2011 - 8:44 pm

    Austerity should make word of the year one year, but I don’t think it’s this year.

    The top four listed words are stupid (in relation to this topic), and shouldn’t be chosen.

    Zugzwang is unfortunately too oddball to be considered, although it’s meaning is perfect.

    Oppugnancy is just normal enough to be considered. It’s not a perfect fit, but it’s close enough.

  334. Lauren -  November 4, 2011 - 8:36 pm

    occupy, it speaks volumes.

  335. Eline -  November 4, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    Second the first. Unless there exists a word preceding an apocalypse – as in, the eye of a storm?

    Hopefully 2012 won’t hold that promise, though.

  336. Honchama -  November 4, 2011 - 7:16 pm

    The link for “tergervisation” doesn’t work. I think that the word is supposed to be “tergiversation”.

  337. Alexander -  November 4, 2011 - 7:13 pm

    ‘Winning’ is too positive for such a dismal year. Occupy is more appropriate, in my opinion.

  338. Alyssa -  November 4, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    “Winning” sounds about right.


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