Let’s close out the year by reflecting on the personalities and events of 2008 and compiling the Third Annual List of Words That Ought to be Added to the Dictionary:
aniston verb the inability to just let it go already: Twelve years after the championship game, Roger still anistoned that untimely fumble.
bernanke verb to appear bewildered and helpless in the face of events. syn. paulson, flaherty, federline
blagojevich noun 1. one who commits a crime with comic ineptness: That blagojevich robbed a bank without a mask—or a gun! 2. a grown man who wears a marmot upon his head.
bush verb to long achingly for someone’s departure: After finding half a pizza in the crack of our sofa, my wife began bushing about my couch-crashing best friend.
cheney noun 1. a creature, rarely seen in public, possibly mythical, believed to feed exclusively upon kitty-cats and the souls of orphans. 2. one who successfully hunts the most dangerous game of all—man!
Conservative (orig. Canadian) noun one who advocates and strictly adheres to principles of free market political orthodoxy, right up until achieving power.
dion verb 1. to refuse to abandon a failed idea even when it’s obvious that no one likes it: Beyoncé is dioning this whole Sasha Fierce thing. syn. greenshift. 2. to resign in failure and then, not long thereafter, to resign even sooner in even more failure. 3. adjective blurry, out of focus.
dow verb to decline so rapidly as to force the monocles of heretofore wealthy tycoons to pop from their eye sockets.
greenspan verb to reappraise after his departure one widely believed to be competent at his job and realize he was, in fact, not: When the auditor discovered that our financial records consisted of nothing more than doodles of a fancy yacht, a private island and bags marked with a dollar sign, we began greenspanning about our departed CFO.
harper verb to overplay one’s hand. noun the belief in some cultures that a simple blend of polyester and cotton, when spun into the shape of a vest, can confer human qualities on inert objects.
ignatieff verb 1. to have something you’ve long desired simply fall into your lap: King Arthur, while relieving himself, was ignatieffed by the Holy Grail atop the urinal. 2. to smile in a manner that suggests the very act of smiling is causing tremendous discomfort. noun 1. the world’s only known set of self-aware eyebrows.
jackman noun a genre of screenwriting wherein the plot is meticulously constructed to maximize shirt removal. syn. mcconaughey.
joe (usu. foll. by “the plumber”) noun the sound of one’s 15 minutes of fame elapsing.
jong-il verb the sudden waning of a once ominous threat: That forecast for 50 cm of snow has been jong-iled to scattered flurries.
layton noun 1. A special Man of the Year award given by the Kitchen Table Manufacturers Association. 2. A patch of facial hair above the lip in which grows delusions of grandeur.
lehman verb to disappear abruptly: Dave was sitting right here but then the waiter brought the bill and he lehmaned.
marley (usu. foll. by “and me”) noun the experience of seeing a film trailer and wanting not only to avoid the movie but also inflict harm on those responsible for making it.
may (usu. prec. by “elizabeth”) verb to be taken seriously, unexpectedly: I dropped a note in the suggestion box and now I’ve been mayed to give a presentation to the board!
mccain verb 1. to behave in a manner that betrays a sense of increasing desperation: Her acting career stalled, the buxom starlet mccained by contacting Hugh Hefner.
obama verb 1. to achieve victory despite at first appearing to have no shot at winning: I couldn’t believe it when Marisa Tomei obamaed that Oscar. 2. to display grace by hiring a former rival, even though the husband of that former rival is probably hitting on your wife right now. noun 1. the uncomfortable feeling of being deeply indebted to Oprah.
palin noun 1. a doctrine of global diplomacy based on geographic proximity. 2. a huge gamble that fails to pan out: In retrospect, trusting that habitual drug user with my PIN and house key proved to be quite the palin. verb 1. to speak words generally accepted to be part of the English language, but to make no sense while doing so. 2. to prompt an entire country to shake its head in disbelief.
subprime noun 1. not prime, well below prime, not even close to prime, extremely not prime, completely and totally prime-free. 2. not our fault, bankers say.