Monday, 16 November 2009

OUP America's 2009 word of the year: 'Unfriend'.

So, without drum-roll, fireworks or further-a-fanfare, here it is! The Oxford University Press America's 2009 Word of the Year: 'unfriend'.
unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.
As in, “I decided to unfriend my roommate on Facebook after we had a fight.”

Whilst at first glance a lazy construction, simply just gluing the prefix 'un' onto the noun - when to convey the meaning properly one would write "to remove from one's 'friends' list" -, no doubt it shall escape in the wider lexicon with as greater ease as it has assumed itself into the vernacular of the 'Yoot' and all Web2.0 applications, like Facebook, Twitter et al.

Mind you, no doubt someone in Dr Johnson's time wrote precisely the same sentiment when the word 'deflower' first violated the dictionaries of English. Speaking of which, in his time, perhaps this new word would have then been rendered 'unbefriend'.



  1. I just read the same thing. I always wonder if the person "unfriended" was really a friend to begin with on these networks that seem to be more about numbers than connections, thus adulterating the meaning of the word friend to begin with. I am sometimes curious what word will eventually rise to take the meaning of the deep connection that we have with our real, for true friends.

  2. Hey Brook,

    Aren't you just devastated they didn't opt for "teabagger"?!

  3. I am really just so glad I wasn't drinking anything right then. You should give a girl a little warning before you spring that on her!

  4. Cosmic Navel Lint17 November 2009 at 23:33

    Oops! Sorry Brook! ;)

  5. Glad you found my blog on this also - I think this is hysterical, that being said if they chose "teabagger" that would have been totally absolutely hysterical to make fun of. Someday we may have to unfriend the OED...

  6. Cosmic Navel Lint19 November 2009 at 11:19

    Hey Brahm K,

    Good to have you along for the craic! Canada, right? I 've founf a number really good blogs there, forgive me for being a peasant, but would you just remind me of the name of yours? :-[


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