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2012 Word of the Year Comes Courtesy of VP Biden

Vice President Joe Biden’s debate highlight creates the Word of the Year – Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

During the Vice Presidential debates back in October Joe Biden reacted to comments made by Paul Ryan, and his one word has been recognized as the Word of the Year.

The moment on October 11th during the debate was on the subject of foreign policy, when the VP uttered in response to Ryan’s take on the topic “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of Malarkey!”

That moment spurred on a rush of look-ups for Biden’s word.  This time frame saw the largest spike of a single word on Merriam-Webster’s website – at 3,000 percent in a single 24-hour period this year.  The company would not release the number of page views per word, but did say the site gets about 1.2 billion overall each year.

You may know by now that Malarkey comes from the Irish-American heritage and dates back to the 1920s.  Malarkey is “beyond nonsense”, and is defined in Webster’s as “insincere or pretentious talk or writing designed to impress one and usually to distract attention from ulterior motives or actual conditions”.

You might feel Malarkey as the Word of the Year is a bunch of ….. well, Malarkey, but you cannot deny the impact VP Biden had uttering this word.


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