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'Teabagger' Finalist For Oxford's 'Word Of The Year'

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"Teabagger" is a finalist for the New Oxford American Dictionary's "word of the year."

Oxford gave a statement to Mediaite to clarify that they meant the political "teabagger," not anything salacious:

It should be noted that the term "teabagger" appears on Oxford's list because of the usage cited on that list, not because of any other meaning. Citations for the political sense were found in a number of legitimate sources throughout the year. As a reference to members of the currently active Tea Party, the word has been used in speech and print by both liberals and conservatives. In this context, the term "teabagger" is a reasonably conceived informal name for an affiliate of the Tea Party, and as a word in the news, it earned a mention for the year 2009.

Having deliberated carefully over the word-usage evidence, Oxford's lexicographers are confident in their judgment that "teabagger" the political term stands distinctly apart from "teabagger" the vulgar term.

Keith Olbermann took credit for popularizing the word on MSNBC Tuesday night. But the word "teabagger" actually started to spread after the Washington Independent's David Weigel photographed a protester at the first D.C. Tea Party Protest in February holding the sign, "Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You!!"

"When I took that photograph at the first Tea Party in D.C., I thought it was funny," Weigel said. "I did not think it would play any role in defining a political movement. And while I personally don't use that word to refer to anti-Obama protesters, I am in very proud possession of a 'Proud to Be A Teabagger' button, so I guess the term has gone through the Lenny Bruce, adopt-it-against-our-enemies wringer."

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