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The Best Words And Phrases Of 2014: Cloud-Chasing, Lumbersexual, Selfie-Stick

Evening Edition

Aired 12/11/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

The Best Words & Phrases Of 2014: Cloud-Chasing, Lumbersexual, Selfie-Stick

GUEST:

Grant Barrett is a lexicographer specializing in slang and new words and is the co-host of the public radio program "A Way with Words."

Transcript

It's time for the lists of 2014: the top 10 movies, music and news stories of the year. But one of the best year-end lists around is a look back at the top new words of the year.

Grant Barrett, a lexicopgrapher, shared his list of top words of the year. He hosts "A Way With Words," a radio show that airs Saturdays at 4 p.m. on 89.5 KPBS FM.

Barrett told KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday the list has words that reflect the mood of the public.

"People have to be using it," Barrett said. "It also needs to kind of reflect what we're thinking about. It's got to have vibrancy."

The word "Ebola" topped Barrett's list because of the growing concern over the disease.

"There's a new significance," Barrett said. "Ebola for the first time really scared Americans. It came home to us."

"Selfie-stick" also made Barrett's list. The word describes when someone uses a stick to elevate a cellphone for a selfie or photo. "Amo-sexual," which also made the list, describes someone who loves guns.

Other top words for 2014 include "umbrella revolution," in honor of the Hong Kong protest where participants held umbrellas, and "cloud-chase," for the smoke that comes out of electronic cigarettes.

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