Tebowing Accepted into English Language
Six-week rise of the Global Phenomenon
Austin, Texas December 12, 2011 (Dec. 16 update)– Tebowing, the act of ‘taking a knee’ in prayerful reflection in the midst of an athletic activity, has been acknowledged as an English language word according to the Global Language Monitor.
The rapid rise of use of the word has seldom been equaled, mirroring, for example, the rate of adoption of the word Obamamania in early 2008. The first mention of the word can be traced to the dramatic overtime victory of the Denver Broncos football team over the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2011. During the victory celebration, Tim Tebow ‘took a knee’ and was photographed in a moment of prayerful reflection. Tebow is the 2007 Heisman trophy winner who led the University of Florida to the 2008 BCS National Championship.
Though there is no official agency for accepting new words (or neologisms) into the English lexicon such as France’s Académie française, since 2003 the Global Language Monitor has been recognizing new words once they meet the criteria of a minimum number of citations across the breadth of the English-speaking world, with the requisite depth of usage on the Internet, in social media and in the top 75,000 global print and electronic media.
“Sports have become significant generators of new cultural trends and memes that transcend the athletic arena”, said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of the Global Language Monitor. “The ESPN sports broadcasting network has widely championed the word. Jared Kleinstein’s tebowing.com website, devoted to people posing in the ‘tebowing position’, has been wildly popular. The New York Times has recently carried an editorial on the subject and the Chinese search engine, Baidu.com, already has hundreds of citations for tebowing.” (See ‘Tebowing Goes Global’ in The Daily Beast.)
The Urban Dictionary defines ‘tebowing’ as ”To get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different’.
The English language currently has some 1.58 billion speakers around the globe.
GLM released its Top Words, Phrases and Names of the Year lists on November 10th. Occupy is the Top Word of the Year, Arab Spring the Top Phrase of the Year, and Steve Jobs the Top Name of the Year.
GLM employs its NarrativeTracker technologies for global Internet and social media analysis. NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the Internet, blogosphere, the top 75,000 print and electronic global media, as well as new social media sources.