Go figure:

The word “bailout,” which shot to prominence amid the financial meltdown, was looked up so often at Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary that the publisher says it was an easy choice for its 2008 Word of the Year.

The rest of the list is not exactly cheerful. It also includes “trepidation,” “precipice” and “turmoil.”

“There’s something about the national psyche right now that is looking up words that seem to suggest fear and anxiety,” said John Morse, president of Springfield-based Merriam-Webster.



In sign of times, ‘bailout’ is ‘word of year’
Herald Wire Services, November 26, 2008


Category: Bailouts

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19 Responses to “Word of the Year: Bailout”

  1. John Borchers says:

    Prolly going to be the word of next year also, lol.

    I’m looking for a place to get long here. Maybe SPY down 7-8% will be a good place. I think today’s panic red is a one day event. People are surprised Xmas sales not so good is what I figure. Looking for a place to unload my shorts.

  2. TrickStar says:

    Turmoil: slang for futures contracts on West Texas Intermediate
    Precipice: Very cold rain; in between sleet and ice
    Trepidation: The feeling I got trying to come up with some silly definition for this word

  3. babycondor says:

    How about:


    My personal pick for the current decade is hybrid (hybrid securities, hybrid cars, hybrid cell phone/music player/web browsers, hybrid food products, animals, humans (?)

  4. DL says:

    A year after the recession started, the NBER finally figures out that we’re in one.

  5. Mannwich says:

    Next year’s sleeper “word”? “Depression”.

  6. greenie says:

    “officially a recession”

    The worst kept secret in the country


  7. E says:

    I love that they dated the recession to the same timeframe as this post from Kudlow:


  8. DL says:

    What exactly was that bet between Barry Ritholtz and James Pethokoukis regarding the recession?

  9. Winston Munn says:

    The name we need to learn is Minsky.

    I am concerned that this recession is not simply about the business cycle but involves the entire credit cycle plus global wage arbitrage. In other words, the structural integrity of the debt-based economic model may well have reached its Minsky Moment, that its sustainability was an illusion based on a false portrait of stability that has now led to instability.

    If the credit cycle contracts to hedge borrowing only (those that can actually afford to borrow), it may be that global wage arbitrage has created an insoluable conundrum for the U.S. working class in both economic growth and sustainability of present living conditions.

    The long painful road ahead requires either real wage growth or price contraction to current wage levels. Either way, there is no going back – no re-inflation of assets without compensating workers.

  10. rww says:

    Winston, exactly, it’s a structural not cyclical problem.

  11. greenie says:

    Kudlow just said on CNBC he thought the US was in a recession in Feb 2008. HUH? I think Barry was on Larry’s show and called a recession, LK yelled at him saying NO RECESSION

  12. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Word of 2009: Frugal.

  13. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    And the word of 2009 with retailers, car dealers, real estate agents, investment banks any type of sales:


  14. DL says:

    greenie @ 1:02

    You’re right…. Kudlow kept touting the Goldilocks scenario well into mid-year.

  15. DP says:

    Words for next year:

    Crash – what you wish your computer would do so you don’t have to look at your stock prices.
    Depression – what you get when your computer is fixed.

    Auto dealer radio ads for next year:

    “No credit? Yeah we don’t have any either. Let us know if you find some ok?”

    CNBC most frequent stupid statement for next year:

    The same as this year, “there are no buyers”. This one drives me crazy. For every stock that is sold there is a buyer. If there’s no buyer there’s no volume. STFU.

  16. DP says:

    Forgot to add, by the time NBER declares we’re out of recession the DOW will be at 18,000 and just about ready to short again, right?

  17. Mannwich says:

    “Frugal” is right, Bruce.

    @Winston Munn: Think you’re spot on there. This animal is one we likely haven’t grappled with before. The problem is structural or systemic, not cyclical.

  18. yeah Winnie, w/Mannwich y rww, that’s what’s up..

    for all the (late) pub Taleb has been getting, noone, seemingly, wants to hear about Minsky..that should be telling.

    it’s the ol’ shearing of the fractal arm..Economy could go to .6x, in a hurry..asymptotes are some tough customers.

  19. Mannwich says:

    There’s Ben on debunking the “D” word. Like I said, that word will be sleeper word of 2009.