'Bailout' Named Word of the Year

'Trepidation' and 'turmoil' also top list of words readers often look up
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2008 6:20 AM CST
Merriam-Webster's 2008 Word of the Year is "bailout." Readers look it up on the dictionary's website more than any other.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The word "bailout," in frequent use in newspapers, magazines, and TV thanks to the economic meltdown, has been named Merriam-Webster's 2008 Word of the Year, reports the AP. It was the word most looked up on the company's online dictionary, edging out other newly prominent and worrisome terms like "trepidation," "precipice," and "turmoil."

"There's something about the national psyche right now that is looking up words that seem to suggest fear and anxiety," said Merriam-Webster's president. And while the techy term "W00t" took top honors in 2007, this year's other hot words were tied to the campaign trail: "maverick," "bipartisan," and, in the number two slot, "vet," as in vetting a VP pick.