Sarah Palin’s ‘Refudiate’ Added to New Oxford American Dictionary, Declared ‘Word of the Year’


Remember when Sarah Palin used the word "refudiate" and then compared herself to Shakespeare?

The Oxford American Dictionary says that "refudiate" has not only been officially added to the dictionary, but they have declared it "word of the year."

Palintweetrefudiateverb used loosely to mean "reject": she called on them to refudiate the proposal to build a mosque. 
[origin — blend of refuteand repudiate]

 They write:

From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise, and that 'refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject.'

Although Palin is likely to be forever branded with the coinage of “refudiate,” she is by no means the first person to speak or write it—just as Warren G. Harding was not the first to use the word normalcy when he ran his 1920 presidential campaign under the slogan “A return to normalcy.” But Harding was a political celebrity, as Palin is now, and his critics spared no ridicule for his supposedly ignorant mangling of the correct word “normality.”

Also, Palin's TLC show Sarah Palin's Alaska was the most-watched debut in the network's history, bringing in 4.96 million viewers.


  1. Chitown Kev says

    Oh, please.

    Now it’s with the repition of usage that this actually gets into Webster’s or the OED.

    Remind me never to use the New Oxford Dictionary when playing Scrabble.

  2. Bryant says

    What. The. Hell. Great… excellent… now we have scholars rewarding Palin and others like her for having the intellectual capacity of a cat box.

    And why are people watching her show?! (They must be the same ones watching “Two and a Half Men”.) Again, we are rewarding people for things they should not be rewarded for and sending the message that bigoted comments and narrow mindedness (and in the case of Charlie Sheen, wife beating) is acceptable. I am totally disgusted right now.

  3. TC says

    This Deification of the Idiotic is going too far. When being stupid is seen as heroic, there is no hope for the thoughtful.

    We are doomed.

  4. pete says

    This will only serve to reinforce her belief that she can create reality merely with her words and the force of her image. I hate her so much I can taste it.

  5. M says

    Hiya Kev!

    Refudiate = a conflation of refute and repudiate, ignoring their incompatible meanings. Mis-used in place of real words that mean ‘repudiate’, ‘reject’, or possibly sometimes ‘refute’.

  6. Ray says

    I’m SO sick of that idiotic woman and the media’s irritating fascination with her. Somebody needs to have an Oxford Dictionary book burning now.

  7. BartB says

    It’s official, Stupid is now the official language of the United States. Please, everyone make up words, talk gibberish, sound like a f*cking buffoon.

    I’m so proud to be an American.

  8. Wes says

    Great, so reality bends to her will. Why don’t we just blow ourselves up already and be done with it.

  9. Gridlock says

    Yes, let’s just keep legitimizing her by pretending her invented words have some merit.

    Jesus fucking christ.

  10. FizziekruntNT says

    Word of the year?! Oxford can suck it! They were just too chickenshitified to add dumbfuckery in front of the title. You’ve been Palinated, Oxford! Random House RULES.

  11. Zlick says

    Just to play devil’s advocate: The English language is brilliant for its constant changiness (see, I just made up another word!)

    I’m no fan of Palin or of rewarding stupidity in this manner. But the mention of how “normalcy” came to be a real word was illuminating – and let’s just be glad some political absurdities like “misunderestimating” don’t get the official nod.

    Also, there may be something legitimate about Oxford’s rationale for inclusion. This is not going to go over well here, I expect – but, for instance, I happen to think “that’s so gay” expresses something useful that no other word combination achieves. Sorry. I watch who I say it around, because it’s potentially offensive – but I’m a homo, and I have license, and often no other phrase will do.

  12. Brett says

    No wonder the rest of the world hates the U.S. I hate us too when stupidity like this serves as credibility and intelligence.

  13. Steve Talbert says

    They could also have said she is using the wrong word sometimes. Instead of this crap… It isn’t consistently precise BECAUSE IT IS WRONG.

    >>>>From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used ‘refudiate,’ we have concluded that neither ‘refute’ nor ‘repudiate’ seems consistently precise,

  14. TANK says

    Prescriptive dictionaries are to be preferred over descriptive dictionaries such as the new oxford american dictionary, in increasing people’s vocabularies. If you want a descriptive dictionary, urban dictionary is superior to oxford american, no question. Prescriptive dictionaries remind one how one ought speak rather than how one does. How people speak says quite a bit about them, e.g., their education, place of origin, socioeconomic background, likelihood of success in the future…poor grammar and diction are a lot like smoking, or your appearance in that regard (your habits and type of person you are–what you spend your time doing), but even more intimate. It’s a pretty good metric to make predictions with.

    More importantly than any of that, knowing the difference is the difference between being educated and being ignorant. I don’t understand people who are proud of being stupid and ignorant, or enjoy the company of such people. Palin and her followers don’t know the difference (lazy know nothings), and have, in fact, turned their ignorance and stupidity into a point of pride. Mediocrity, ignorance and lack of basic reasoning skills are nothing to be proud of, and that is not elitism.

  15. M says

    Dear Zlick,
    But refudiate doesn’t communicate anything, except confusion about refute and repudiate. Refute means disprove. Repudiate means reject or disavow. She’s used it as if it were reject, repudiate, or rebuke. It’s just a funny mashup that’s trying to replace one of its parents. Oh my, it’s the Bristol of words!! :)

  16. JJ says

    WTF 4.9million viewers? Really? Really america? I bet those same 4.9 million people are keeping Bristol Palin and her shitty dancing on DWTS….

    Tea douchebags love voting for people who obviously don’t deserve to be voted for.

  17. D says

    As much as it pains me to type this, I predict that Ms Sarah will be the next POTUS. Republican control of the House, Senate, and President. Yes, we are doomed.

  18. Garst says

    So Oxford has lessened the requirements for news words to “sound uttered repeatedly by a single moron?” And I thought Oxford couldn’t lower its standards when it added “Octomom” as a word. That’s not even a word; it’s a name!

  19. Chris says

    Blurring the lines of the urban dictionary and the oxford.
    I can only imagine what this does to the SATs.

    Idiocracy anyone?

  20. Brian says

    I’m moving to Australia. At least their nonsense words have been around for a couple of hundred years.

  21. Wilkby says

    Are you effing kidding me? Who’s the editor of this damned Oxford American Dictionary, Palin’s 2012 campaign manager?

  22. Randy says

    How absurd. Refudiate is not a word, even if they want it to be. It’s a fart. Also, the example they give for it is incorrect, according to their own definition. They use it as a word for “refuse” (verb), not “refute”.

    Who uses a dictionary these days anyway? Clearly not Sarah, and not me either, although for entirely different reasons I’m sure.

  23. Manny says

    Re: Bryan’s comment

    The show Two and a Half Men is way more intellectually stimulating than a Sarah Palin interview or speech…

  24. Tom says

    This is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time. And Sarah’s straight face just makes it funnier.

    There are more words coming, I’m sure of it!

  25. MajorTom says

    It would be one thing if the bloody cow had intended to coin a word, but she didn’t. She is simply functionally illiterate. So now she gets rewarded for her ignorance. Time to make a sweep of the house for any copies of the American Oxford dictionary. They will go into the trash directly.