Via Calculated Risk, Merriam-Webster has declared "bailout" its word of the year:
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.