It’s that time of year of again—time for the New Oxford American Dictionary to announce their Word of the Year. And the winner is . . . unfriend. It’s a verb that means to remove a person from ‘friend’ on a social networking site. As in, “I decided to unfriend my neighbor on Facebook since his pit bull attacked my cat yesterday.”
Most “un-” words are adjectives (unsocial, unmannerly), along with a number of familiar “un-“verbs (unlock, unmade). As a verb, unfriend is unique because it assumes an unusual verb sense of “friend,” instead of the common noun usage.
Other words in the running:
intexticated—distracted due to cellphone texting while driving a vehicle
funemployed—taking advantage of one’s newly unemployed status to have fun or pursue other interests
zombie bank—a financial institution whose liabilities are greater than its assets, but which continues to operate because of government support
deleb—a dead celebrity
In addition to the words mentioned above, other words considered for WOTY, including a slew of Obamaisms, can be found at Oxford University Press.