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‘Jai Ho!’ and ‘Slumdog’ top HollyWORDs of 2008

followed by ‘Hmong,’ ‘Nuke the Fridge’ and ‘Twinkie defense’

6th Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor

Austin, TX. February 26, 2009. ‘Jai Ho!’ and ‘Slumdog’ from Slumdog Millionaire top the 2008 list of words from Hollywood that most influenced the English Language in 2008. Closely following were ‘Hmong’ fromGran Torino, ‘Nuke the Fridge’ from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and ‘Twinkie defense’ (which followed the events depicted in Milk). It was the first time that two words from the same movie were ranked in the Top Ten. Rounding out the Top Ten were: ‘Djembe’ (The Visitor), “There are no coincidences” (Kung Fu Panda), ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you … stranger,” (The Dark Knight), Posthumous (The Wrestler), and Katrina from Benjamin Button.

“2008 was a remarkable year for words in films, with a Hindi phrase, the name of a Laotian tribe, a West African drum, and a modified quotation from Frederick Nietzsche all making the list,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor.

The Top Hollywords of the 2008 with commentary follow.

  1. Jai Ho! (Slumdog Millionaire) – Literally ‘Let there be Victory’ in Hindi.
  2. Slumdog (Slumdog Millionaire) – Definitely a politically incorrect term for young slum-dwellers in Bombay (Mumbai).
  3. Nuke the Fridge (Indiana Jones and the ) – Indiana Jones surviving a nuclear blast in a lead-lined fridge is viewed as proof that the franchise has run its course (similar to Fonzi’s Jump the Shark episode on Happy Days).
  4. Hmong (Gran Torino) – The name of the mountain-dwelling peoples of Laos who were US Allies in the Indochinese Wars of the 1960-70s. Pronounced with a silent ‘h’: mong.
  5. Twinkie Defense (Milk) – The apocryphal outcome of the trial 1979 trial of Dan White, the former San Francisco Supervisor who killed both Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. The term was never actually used in the trial but was picked up in the media as a stand-in for ‘diminished capacity’.
  6. Djembe (The Visitor) – West African percussion instrument that Tarek teaches Walter.
  7. There are no coincidences (Kung Fu Panda) – Oogway’s solemn pronouncement to Master Shifu
  8. What doesn’t kill you makes you … stranger (The Dark Knight) – The Joker’s twist on the famous Nietzsche epigram.
  9. Posthumous (The Wrestler) – Yes, that really was Mickey Rourke as a Best Actor nominee, well after he had been pronounced dead many a time.
  10. Katrina (Benjamin Button) – The ominous and pervasive threat of Katrina framing the movie demonstrates the depth to which the hurricane has penetrated the American subconscious.

Previous Top HollyWord Winners:

2007 “Call it, Friendo,” from “No Country for Old Men”

2006 “High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from “Borat!”

2005 ‘Brokeback’ from “Brokeback Mountain”

2004 “Pinot” from “Sideways”

2003 ‘’Wardrobe malfunction” from Super Bowl XXXVIII

The Global Language Monitor uses a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) to track the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases.The PQI is a weighted Index, factoring in: long-term trends, short-term changes, momentum, and velocity.


Top HollyWORDIEs of 2007


“Call it, Friendo” “I drink your milkshake” and “Juno-verse”

San Diego , Calif. March 11, 2008. “Call it, Friendo” from the multi-Oscar winner No Country for Old Men, ‘Drink your milkshake” from There Will Be Blood, and the various phrasings from what has come to be known as the Juno-verse, from the teen pregnancy sleeper, were named the Top HollyWORDIEs of 2007. The annual survey by the Global Language Monitor tracks the words from Hollywood that most influenced the English Language. “Maddness? This is S-P-A-R-T-A!” from The 300, and “I’m not the guy you kill; I’m the guy you buy off.” from Michael Clayton rounded out the top five.

Tú decides, amigo” El Pais (Madrid)

“This year, the top HollyWORDS tended to be phrases rather than individual words as in years past,” said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of the Global Language Monitor “The selected phrases have already begun to seep into the ‘English language as evidenced by even a cursory web search.”

“High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat! were the top words of 2006, while ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain , “Pinot” from Sideways, and “wardrobe malfunction” were nabbed for top honors previous to that.

The Top HollyWORDS of 2007 follow:

1. “Call it, Friendo.” (No Country for Old Men) – Chigurth’s flip of the coin (Javier Bardem).

2. “I drink your milkshake.” (No Country for Old Men) – “I drink it up!” Daniel Day Lewis.

3. Juno-verse (Juno) — phraseology includes “doodle that can’t be undid,” “Silencio”, and, of course, “Shoulda gone to China , because I hear they give away babies like free iPods.” (Ellen Page).

4. “Maddness? This is S-P-A-R-T-A!” (The 300) – Kin Leonardis engages the Persians in Battle (Gerald Butler).

5. “I’m not the guy you kill; I’m the guy you buy off.” (Michael Clayton) – Michael Clayton’s self description (George Clooney)

6. “I think I am beginning to disappear.” (Away From Her) — (Julie Christie)

7. “Either you’re somebody, or you ain’t nobody.” (American Gangster) – Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington).

8. “Squeezin’ that watch won’t stop time.” (3:10 to Yuma ) – Ben Wade (Russell Crowe)

9. “Sometimes birth and death go together.” (Eastern Promises) — Anna (Naomi Watts)

10. “It was the things you don’t choose that makes you who you are.” (Gone Baby Gone) — Casey Affleck as Patrick Kenzie

‘High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat! And ‘Hollywood Baby Names’ from the Celebrity Cultural Milieu, Named Top Words from Hollywood Impacting The English Language

Last Year, ‘Brokeback’ from Brokeback Mountain topped the Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor; in 2005 ‘Pinot’ from Sideways Topped the List

‘High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat! and


Hollywood Baby Names’ from the Celebrity Cultural Milieu


Named top Words from Hollywood for 2006

San Diego. March 5, 2007. ‘High Five!!! Its sexy time!’ from Borat! and ‘Hollywood Baby Names’ from the Celebrity Cultural Milieu, have named top Words from Hollywood impacting the English Language by the Global Language Monitor in its annual survey. Closely following were ‘Pursuit,’ from Will Smith’s Pursuit of Happyness, ‘Nazi Bullets,’ from ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ and ‘I will not serve!’ Frank Costello’s driving force in The Departed.

The annual Oscar ceremony is an appropriate time to measure the state of Global English — and it’s all on view here: the soaring prose, the refinement — and the vulgarity,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor.

The Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture. The Top HollyWORDS are released in conjunction with the 79th Academy Awards ceremony that were broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Top HollyWORDS for Impact Upon the English Language in 2006 with commentary follow.

1. “High Five!!!! It’s sexy time!” (Borat) – Borat’s wedge into doing or saying anything he pleases on his American Tour.

2. Suri, Shiloh Nouvel, and the rest of the Hollywood Babyland parade. (Hollywood Baby names) — Opening an entire new world of possibilities to young parents, who are taking to the idea of ultimately, outré, names to inflict upon, err, bestow upon their children.

3. Pursuit (Pursuit of Happyness) – Will Smith’s stunning epiphany from the words penned by Thomas Jefferson some 230 years ago.

4. Nazi bullets (Little Miss Sunshine) — “I still got Nazi bullets in my ass.” Grandpa’s excuse to do or say anything he pleases.

5. Non Serviam (The Departed) – “I will not serve” from James Joyce. Franks Costello’s pledge as he refuses to be a product of his environment. He wants his “environment to be a product of me”.

6. A reluctant cannibal (Last King of Scotland) — Forest Whittaker’s portrayal of an illiterate, brutal African dictator, who may or may not enjoy feasting upon his victim.

7. A Moral Issue (An Inconvenient Truth) — … and not a political issue. Al Gore’s chilling documentary about Global Warming and it ultimate impact upon the human environment.

8. “Will someone please save these people from themselves!” (The Queen) — Tony Blair’s observations of The Royals as he attempts to heal the rift between The Queen and her subjects.

9. “Help! Ayúdenme! HELP!” (BABEL) Crying for help in a land apparently with out ears.

10. “The details of your incompetence do not interest me.” (Devil Wears Prada) – Meryl Streep with yet another nurturing remark to those who surround (and serve) her.

11. Classic Figures (Dreamgirls) –For more than 200,000 years of human history these were the celebrated dimensions of women. What was the tipping point? Twiggy in the 60s?

12. Labyrinth (Pan’s Labyrinth) — Before ‘quagmire’s’ there were ‘labyrinths’. In the 21st Century ‘labyrinth’ is perhaps the better word.

13. Film Noir (Black Dahlia) — Plenty of ‘noir’ but not much ‘film’ in the Black Dahlia. Perhaps Film Noir is better suited to a less cynical age.

14. Arrgh! (Pirate of the Caribbean, Dead Man’s Chest) — Spreading ever more deeply into popular culture.

15. “Rotemorizing” (Akeelah and the Bee) — The technique of blindly memorizing spelling words.

16. “Make us disappear!” (The Illusionist) – Sophie’s request to a young Eisenheim (Ed Norton).

17. maya yucateco (Apocolypto) — Mel’s Gibson’s choice of language for his film depicting a collapsing civilization. (Actually still spoken from some 6 million Maya descendants in the Yucatan.)

18. Dame (Notes on a Scandal) — What more can be said: Dame Judi Dench, Indeed.

19. Hero (Flags of our Fathers) – Some thing the ‘heroes’ of Iwo Jima never asked to be, much like their 9/11 grandsons.

20. Chica chica, boom boom (Happy Feet) — That’s just one sign that attack of spontaneous happy feet dancing is about to begin.

Top Words for 2006 and 2005

In 2006,‘Brokeback’ from multi-Oscar nominated film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was named the Top HollyWORD in the Global Language Monitor’s annual survey of words from Hollywood that profoundly influenced the English Language. In 2005, ‘Pinot’ from the movie Sideways, was named the Top HollyWORD.Sunday Times (London):

And now, the first grown-up Oscar speech features the Global Language Monitor

Click Here.

Click Here to see Grade-Level Ranking of Selected Oscar Acceptance Speeches.The Annual Survey by the Global Language Monitor
San Diego. Updated March 5, 2006. ‘Brokeback’ from multi-Oscar nominated film ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was named the Top HollyWORD of the Year in The Global Language Monitor’s annual survey of words from Hollywood that profoundly influenced the English Language.
Closely following were ‘Brangelina’ from ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith,’ ‘ ‘Petronoia’ from ‘Syriana,’ ‘Tuxedo’ from ‘March of the Penguins,’ and ‘Pimping’ from “Hustle & Flow’.

Brokeback’ named Top HollyWORD of 2006 Followed by ‘Brangelina’, ‘Petronoia,’ and ‘Tuxedo’

Rounding out the Top Ten were ‘Milk Money’ from ‘Cinderella Man,’ ‘Dostoevskian’ from ‘Revenge of the Sith,’ ‘Tepid’ from the 2005 Movie Season, ‘the Inklings’ from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia,’ and ‘Don’t Panic’ from ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.

For better or for worse, The Hollywood dream-factory continues to make its contribution to the Global English vocabulary, either by creating new words, such as ‘Brokeback’ or re-defining (and/or transmitting) others,“ said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. The Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture.

The Top HollyWORDS are released in conjunction with the 78th Academy Awards ceremony, to be broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 5th at 8:00 pm Eastern.

Top HollyWORDS for Impact Upon the English Language in 2005 with commentary follows.

1. Brokeback (Brokeback Mountain) – A cultural phenomenon (Brokeback, Brokedown, etc.) with almost a million references to Brokeback jokes alone on Google. Overall there are some 30 million references though only 10 million saw the movie.

2. Brangelina (Mr. And Mrs. Smith) – The Brad Pitt – Angelina Jolie romance / relationship / spectacle without the Scientology angle. TomKat (Tom Cruise / Katy Holmes) comes in a close second, with Vincifer (Jennifer Aniston – Vince Vaughn) placing a distant third.

3. Petronoia (Syriana) — Everything may be connected in this politically-charged thriller and it’s all connected through ‘petronoia’ the (ir)rational fear of the collapse in the oil industry precipitating global economic crisis.

4. Tuxedo (March of the Penguins) – Though the dialogue, not to mention the stars, were a bit stiff, this chronicle about Emperor penguins in their breeding trek across Antarctica flew to remarkable heights. Also, very clever product placement that few apparently noticed: dinner jackets.

5. Pimping (Hustle and Flow) – Evidently ‘Ho’ and ‘bitch’ have already been approved by the network censors, and pimping gets another boost.

6. Milk (Money) (Cinderella Man) – The reason for James J. Braddock’s comeback. He claimed he now knew the reason for his success: He was no fighting for ‘Milk’.

7. Dostoevskian (Revenge of the Sith) – Certainly not for the screenplay, but rather for the completion of Lukas’ multi-generational, six-film saga depicting the ongoing battle between good and evil to a universal audience.

8. Tepid (The 2005 Movie Season) — With grosses down some 6% from a slow 2004, studio execs blamed everything except uninspiring choices. This was the year of the small film.

9. The Inklings (Chronicles of Narnia) — The informal writers club to which C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien both belonged. Together the good professors’ films have grossed over $3 billion. Not bad for a couple of Oxford dons. 1

0. Don’t Panic (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) – Though a flop, the film contained excellent advice for just about any situation in the 21st Century.

11. 1933 (King Kong) – That’s the version you should have seen. “Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was the re-make that killed both beauty and the beast.”

12. Bird Flu (H5N1) (War of the Worlds) – Thanks to HG Wells, a positive use for Avian Flu: destroying alien life forms.

13. Crusaders (Kingdom of Heaven) – Luckily this wasn’t a big enough hit among the infidels to cause any worldwide riots.

14. Folsom (Walk the Line) – The name now is synonymous for the Man in Black.

15. Expediency (Munich) – Some times political values trump moral values.

Last year ‘Pinot’ from the movie ‘Sideways’ was named the Top HollyWORD of the Year. Closely following were ‘genius’ (Ray), ‘handwashing’ (The Aviator, The Passion, and Hotel Rwanda), ‘mo chuisle’ (Million Dollar Baby), and ‘The Gipper’ (Knute Rockne Story, 1941).

Pinot’ named Top HollyWORD of 2005

Followed by ‘genius,’ ‘Handwashing,’ ‘mo chuisle,’ and ‘the Gipper’

Danville, Calif. February 24, 2005. MetaNewsWire ‘Pinot’ from the movie ‘Sideways’ was named Top HollyWORD of the Year in The Global Language Monitor’s annual list of words from Hollywood that profoundly influenced the English Language. Closely following were ‘genius’ (Ray), ‘handwashing’ (The Aviator, The Passion, and Hotel Rwanda), ‘mo chuisle’ (Million Dollar Baby), and ‘The Gipper’ (Knute Rockne Story, 1941).

Rounding out the Top Tenwere ‘Neverland’ (Neverland), ‘antiquity’ (Troy and Alexander), ‘OCD’ or Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (The Aviator), ‘Fahrenheit’ (Fahrenheit 9/11) and ‘Yo!’ (Garden State).

Hollywood has an all-encompassing, pervasive, and global influence,” said Paul JJ Payack, President of the Global Language Monitor. “There is no question that in 2004, the Hollywood dream-factory continued to have a most profound impact upon word choice and usage for Global English.”

The Global Language Monitor analyzes and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture.

The Top HollyWORDS are released in conjunction with the 77th Academy Awards ceremony, to be broadcast on the ABC Television Network, Sunday, February 27th at 8:00 pm Eastern.

Read: ‘Pinot’ wins an Oscar for word of the year (MSNBC)

Read: BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Sideways helps spread wine jargon

Read: Verso l’Oscar: il “Pinot” si merita un premio (Italia)

Top HollyWords for Impact Upon the English Language in 2004 with commentary follows.

1. Pinot (Sideways) — An often misunderstood and sensitive varietal, one of the most difficult grapes to make into a fine wine.

2. Genius (Ray) Ray Charles. ‘Nuff said.

3. Hand Washing (Howard Hughes in The Aviator, Pontious Pilate in The Passion, and the World Community in Hotel Rwanda)

4. “Mo chuisle” (Million Dollar Baby) Actually a typo in the film; from a longer phrase meaning pulse of my heart: a chuisle mo chroi, and not my darling as translated by Eastwood.

5. The Gipper (The Knute Rockne Story, 1940) JFK was the first president elected because of his understanding of the coolness of the television medium, but there is little doubt that without Hollywood, there would have been no President Reagan.

6. Neverland (Finding Neverland) — Unfortunately another version of Neverland can be found north of Santa Barbara where you wish you had NO imagination.

7. Antiquity — The Athens Olympics beats out both Troy and Alexander as the best example of a Hollywood production epitomizing the glory that was Greece.

8. OCD or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (The Aviator) — Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Howard Hughes makes the small screens Monk look like a model of mental sanity.

9. Girlie Men (On-going California Follies) — The Honorable Governator of California CAH-a-FON-nee-ahs term for political adversaries.

10. Yo! (Garden State) — Another coming of age homage to North Jersey.

11. Animation — Four of the Top 11 grossing films of 2004 were animated features (Shrek2, The Incredibles, The Polar Express, and Shark Tales).

12. Snub — As in Paul Giamatti, The Passion, Fahrenheit 9/11, and House of Flying Daggers

13. Small Screen (Five Best Actor Nominees) — All have small screen roots: Johnny Deep (21 Jump Street), Leonardo DiCaprio (Growing Pains), Jamie Foxx (In Living Color), Clint Eastwood (Rawhide), and Don Cheadle (Picket Fences).

14. Frass (Sideways) — Frass Valley Winery is actually named for insect droppings.

15. Fahrenheit (Fahrenheit 9/11) Reintroduced Europeans to that very un-metric (and impolitic) temperature scale.

Wardrobe Malfunction Named Top HollyWORD of 2004

Parley Hollywood: Keira Invents a New Language (Daily Mail, London)

Linguists comb Tinseltown for catchy phrases, terms

The Press-Enterprise

Hollywood gives us stars and fashion _ and “Holly Words.” A look at some new catch phrases the entertainment world has given us this year:

The Top 10 candidates:

1. Wardrobe malfunction (Super Bowl) — From the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake incident.

2. Bootylicious (Grammys) — A woman who has an abundance of adipose tissue in the gluteus maximus.

3. Extreme makeover — From various makeover shows, particularly the one of that name.

4. Gigli - New word for “really bad.”

5. Give it up! (“American Idol”) — Replaces the square “please applaud for …”

6. Governator — The honorable governor of “CAH-lee-FOR-nee-ah.”

7. Parley (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) — From pirates’ code of the brethren, where one cannot be harmed until one has an audience with the captain.

8. Snap (“Freaky Friday”) — As in “Oh snap!,” meaning “very cool.”

9. Smiths (“The Matrix” sequels) — To lack individuality, like the multi-duplicated Agent Smith.

10. Understated (“Lost in Translation”) — The new synonym for “loser.”

Bonus: Who are you wearing? (Various red-carpet shows) _ For most of us, the answer is “Target” or “Madame Wal-Mart.”

And the winner is …

Wardrobe malfunction.”

The immortal words of pop star and disgraced Super Bowl costume assistant Justin Timberlake beat out “bootylicious” and “Gigli” to top this year’s list of Hollywood contributions to the English language, according to The Global Language Monitor.

The Danville, Calif.-based group of “linguists, wordsmiths and language professors” makes its mission to track Tinseltown’s generous, and frequent, gifts to the English language.

It’s a job that grows harder every year, said Paul JJ Payack, president and “WordMan” for Global Language Monitor.

The Internet spreads “HollyWords” like lightning, Payack said.

So when anything happens, it’s magnified,” he said.

The Monitor relies greatly on its network of “observers,” the hip and observant Internet correspondents who let Payack know when “give it up” or “extreme makeover” make the big jump into the mainstream.

It wasn’t hard to see “Gigli” coming. Payack did a little math on the opening weekend of the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Lopez box-office disaster and found the film was pulling in an average of two people per showing.

Gigli” won a total of six Razzies, including worst picture, worst actress and worst actor for Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.

Hence: “‘Gigli,’ ‘Gigli’ bad,” Payack said.

Not forever, because new words and phrases tend to come and go with the tides, although last year’s winner, “embedded,” is showing some staying power.

The next new word could be as close as the next awards show, although Payack said movies are a steady source of more colorful language.

Payack said there are more than 3,200 entries describing Bill Murray’s performance in “Lost in Translation” as “understated.”

That’s good enough to earn the No. 10 spot on the list and crown “understated” as the new Hollywood word for “loser.”

Because language never sleeps, Payack is already looking ahead. He thinks the projected $1 billion-plus earning potential for “The Passion of the Christ” makes “Aramaic” the word to watch. ”I think it’s going to mean ‘bling-bling,’ ” he said.



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