The Oxford English Dictionary Gang has once again named their “Word of the Year,” and this one is very near and dear to all of our hearts: GIF. Love that word. Use it in a sentence. “I GIFed, he GIFed, she GIFed, we GIFed.” Good sentence. From Wired:

“Like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier,” wrote lexicographer Katherine Martin in a blog post conveying the news. “GIF celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as a verb, not just a noun. The GIF has evolved from a medium for pop-cultural memes into a tool with serious applications including research and journalism, and its lexical identity is transforming to keep pace.”

And the official definition from Oxford:

GIF, verb to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event)

Congratulations to the English language. Better luck next year, “STAHP,” “unfollow,” and all the other great words!

Comments (45)
  1. I reaed someone refer to it as “giffing”. I’m sorry but it’s a noun/verb – never a gerund. Gonna go make a gif, gonna go gif the shit out of that – yes. Gonna go giffing – no.

  2. Damnit, I can’t believe we lost out after all the campaigning we did to get Dourtney elected as the word of the year!

  3. Someone remind me, does this mean that #VforVgum has lost?

  4. What is happening in that Krispy Kreme GIF?!?! It looks involuntary!!

  5. 1) The 80s are so 2002. The 90s are the thing now.

    2) Is is already that time of year where we start naming “whatever of the year”?!

  6. The NPR lady pronounced it “jiff” like the peanut butter.

    • AKA how choosy moms choose to pronounce it.

    • Terry Gross would never do that!

    • Wikipedia says thats fine:

      The creators of the format pronounced GIF with a soft “G” /ˈdʒɪf/ as in “gin”. An alternative pronunciation uses a hard “G” /ˈɡɪf/ as in “graphics”, reflecting the expanded acronym. Both pronunciations are given as correct by the Oxford English Dictionary[3] and the American Heritage Dictionary.[4]

      According to Steve Wilhite, the creator of the GIF format, the original pronunciation deliberately echoes the American peanut butter brand, Jif, and the employees of CompuServe would often say “Choosy developers choose GIF”, spoofing this brand’s television commercials.[5] This pronunciation was also identified by CompuServe in their documentation of a graphics display program called CompuShow.[5]

      (I actually got into an ARGUMENT with someone about this last week.)

    • gif as in good is the gangsta way to say it.

    • I wonder what Jiff McKagan will have to say about that!

    • I heard that too! And second guessed myself on the pronunciation because I thought that it’s really only a word you read on the internet and people don’t usually say it out loud.

      But no. I’m sticking with ga-ga-gif.

    • I know how it’s supposed to be pronounced, in Internet-world anyway, and yet I always say, “Jiff-I mean, Gif, I mean, you know what I mean! The moving pictures thing!” .. Contrary to popular belief, I am not middle aged. I just can’t pronounce words.

  7. I’m enjoying Oxford’s newly recognized word which is “omnishambles”. “Our tax code is in an omnishambles” (with the alternative being “Romneyshambles” obviously).

  8. If only there were a word for “annual desperate attempt to seem relevant that actually reveals how out of touch you are by repeatedly introducing trendy technology words that nobody ever actually uses into your dictionary.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.