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Spillcam and Vuvuzela Take Top Spots as Top 10 Words of 2010

It’s usually pop culture that leads the way in introducing new language to the lexicon. But in 2010, politics, sports, news and the weather were what really got us gabbing. The words “spillcam” and “vuvuzela” led the Global Language Monitor’s list of “Top Words of 2010.” Meanwhile, words derived from entertainment and culture didn’t make an appearance until No. 5 on the list – “Guido” and “Guidette,” which were introduced to the masses by that arbiter of linguistic nuance, “Jersey Shore.”

Also on the list were regulars of nightly news reports, including “The Narrative,” Sarah Palin’s “refudiate,” and the dreaded “deficit.”

Reginald Heard, president of finance firm Bankers One Capital and board member of the International Franchise Association, weighed in on why "deficit" became a household word this year across the world.

“The United States’ ballooning deficits and government debt levels are directly impacting the global economies and world commerce,” Heard told BusinessNewsDaily. “Major concerns are on the U.S. reliance and the ongoing financing of government debt with geopolitical-risk China.”

For the No. 6 phrase, GLM chose "ambush marketing" – “cashing in at an event by taking on the appearance of a sponsor of the event.” GLM said people displayed this tactic at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and South Africa’s World Cup.

GLM picked "The Great Recession" — a “media term frequently used to describe the ongoing global economic restructuring” — for the No. 3 phrase.

Heard said, “The Great Recession had tremendous impact on global economies and really demonstrated how fragilely connected are our world financial markets.”

The folks at GLM selected the following words, phrases and people for their top 10 lists, which were released Nov. 14.

Top Words of 2010

  • 1) Spillcam
  • 2) Vuvuzela
  • 3) The Narrative
  • 4) Refudiate
  • 5) Guido and Guidette
  • 6) Deficit
  • 7) Snowmaggedden and Snowpocalypse
  • 8) 3-D
  • 9) Shellacking
  • 10) Simplexity

Top Phrases of 2010

  • 1) Anger and rage
  • 2) Climate change
  • 3) The Great Recession
  • 4) Teachable moment
  • 5) Tea Party
  • 6) Ambush marketing
  • 7) Lady Gaga
  • 8) Man up
  • 9) Pass the bill to be able to see what’s in it
  • 10) Obamamania

Top People of 2010

  • 1) Hu Jintao
  • 2) iPad
  • 3) Barack Obama
  • 4) Chilean coal miners
  • 5) Eyjafjallajoekull
  • 6) Nancy Pelosi
  • 7) Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa
  • 8) Tea Party
  • 9) Jersey Shore
  • 10) David Cameron and Nick Clegg

Descriptions of each word, phrase and person can be found on GLM’s website.