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Tech and recession dominate 2009 lexicon

30th December 2009

The rise of social networking and the global economic slowdown have influenced the Oxford English Dictionary words of the year.

Susie Dent, the dictionary expert from Channel 4's Countdown, has selected the words from the Oxford English Corpus which best represent 2009.

She included 'tweetups', or meetings organised through social networking platform Twitter, and 'unfriend', which mean to break a link with someone on websites such as Facebook, among the year's most important words.

Inevitably, the financial crisis has had an impact on the list, with 'zombie bank', the 'great recession' and 'bossnapping', or protesting about large-scale redundancies and cutbacks by preventing management from leaving the premises, also selected by the expert.

Other words thought to represent 2009 include 'jeggings' (a kind of close-fitting legging), 'staycation' (remaining in the UK for a holiday) and 'snollygoster' (an unprincipled person).

Dent commented: 'All the words on the list were chosen from Oxford's language-monitoring programme for their topicality and for the snapshot they give of our preoccupations over the year.'

In 2008, the expert said that nomophobia, or a fear of being out of mobile phone contact, best summed up the year.

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