Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2007 has been announced, and the winner is a 4 letter word with no vowels. There are 2 consonants at each end, separated by double zeros. It’s pronounced to rhyme with “hoot”, and a hoot of a word it is. It had some tough competition this year, from words like “facebook”, “conundrum” and “quixotic”. In all there were seven candidates for the honor, which was decided by voting at the MW website. There was a bit of speculation that “facebook” would win the day, but short and sweet little “w00t” took the honor by a “vast majority”. From the announcement at MW:
This year’s winning word first became popular in competitive online gaming forums as part of what is known as l33t (“leet,” or “elite”) speak—an esoteric computer hacker language in which numbers and symbols are put together to look like letters. Although the double “o” in the word is usually represented by double zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for “we owned the other team”—again stemming from the gaming community.
W00t follows in the steps of some words that, just a few years ago, weren’t heard much. In 2004 the word was “blog“. In 2005 it was “integrity“. Last year, thanks to Colbert Nation, it was “truthiness“. It is, as far as I know, the first word in the dictionary to have numbers instead of vowels. Of course, it’s just the online dictionary, but who knows, maybe w00t will soon find itself in the complete unabridged version?
I especially liked this, from the MW website:
expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word “yay”
[usage:] w00t! I won the contest!”
If you read my last post, then you’ll understand why I like that usage example. Hopefully, that’s the title of an upcoming article here at Wordout.
I am Jon, and, well… w00t!