Top English Words Predicted for 2011

The top global words for 2011 have been predicted by the Global Language Monitor and they may not be what you expect…

The Global Language Monitor has gathered the Top 10 words at the end of each year since 2000.  To project top words for the coming year, it analyzed categories of words and selected those which were representative of various world trends.

 “Palinism” and “Obama-mess” are predicted to be in the top global words of 2011, as the United States gears up for its next presidential elections.  

Both words involve a play on their suffix, that is, the ending of the word.

The ending -ism can be added to the end of a word to indicate the defining attribute of a person or thing e.g. Shakespeareanism (named after William Shakespeare).

Sarah Palin ran unsuccessfully for vice-president in 2008 as a Republican and is now a conservative political activist, best-selling author and TV star and is pondering whether to run for U.S. president in 2012.  The term “Palinism” has been around for a couple of years and is used to explain the type of attributes shown by Sarah Palin.  It is defined in the Urban Dictionary as “illogical stream of conscious meanderings uttered by Sarah Palin.” 

“Obama-mess” is another word that is expected to be big in 2011.  The term has been used to criticize President Obama by suggesting he is creating a ‘mess’.  

These examples show how the English language is developing according to current events and popular culture.  If a word is used frequently enough in popular culture and everyday speech it may end up as an officially listed word in the dictionary.


Gathered – (past tense of ‘gather’) to bring together into one group, collection, or place

Analyzed – (past tense of analyze) to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.

Representative – exemplifying a group or kind; typical of

Elections – the selection of a person or persons for office by vote

Attribute – to consider as a quality or characteristic of the person, thing, group,

Predicted -(past tense of predict) to foretell the future; make a prediction.

Pondering – to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate (often fol. by over  or upon ).

Expected – regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of.

Criticize – to find fault; judge unfavorably or harshly.


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