|Strong winds and big waves engulf Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans on August 28, 2012 in Louisiana, where Hurricane Isaac has made landfall. (AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN)
Online reference tool Dictionary.com has picked "bluster" as 2012 Word of the Year for its applicability to events in the political, economic and meteorological spheres.
"In Old English 'bluster' meant 'to wander or stray,' and today it has a few, closely related meanings. It means both 'to roar and be tumultuous, as wind' and 'noisy, empty threats or protests; inflated talk,'" explained the site, pointing to Australian floods, Chinese cyclones, and Hurricane Sandy on the one hand, and European austerity measures, Greek elections, and the US's financial condition on the other.
Oxford English Dictionary picked "omnishambles" as its word of the year, a term that originated in UK political YV satire The Thick of It, while the OED's America partner plumped for "GIF."
By mid-2012, the Global Language Monitor already had "derecho," a land hurricane, as a candidate for word of the year, while more recently the Chair of the New Words Committee at the American Dialect Society suggested that "fiscal cliff," "Gangnam Style," and "Frankenstorm" were all in the running for the traditional January award.
More on why "bluster" is Dictionary.com's 2012 Word of the Year: hotword.dictionary.com/bluster/