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‘Pinot’ wins an Oscar for word of the year

It was the show biz word that most influenced the language last year
/ Source: Reuters

And the Oscar for Hollywood’s word of the year goes to “pinot,” as in pinot noir, the wine variety of choice in “Sideways,” one the five films nominated this year for a best picture Academy Award.

The Global Language Monitor, a nonprofit group that monitors word use, said “pinot” tops its annual list of show business words that influenced the English language last year. The winner for 2003 was “wardrobe malfunction.”

Closely following “pinot” were words associated with other Oscar-nominated films: “genius” from the Ray Charles biography “Ray,” “handwashing” for what billionaire Howard Hughes does a lot in the biopic, “The Aviator,” and “Mo Chuisle,” the secret Celtic name for the heroine in “Million Dollar Baby.”

“Neverland,” the title of a film about Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, is also on the list with a double-meaning, Michael Jackson’s mansion in central California is also called ”Neverland.”

“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.”

While “Mo Chuisle” the name engraved on Hilary Swank’s dressing gown in boxing drama “Million Dollar Baby” is translated in the film as meaning “My darling,” Payack said the phrase in Gaelic is a shortened form of “pulse of my heart.”

The word “Gipper” finished on the list in tribute to Ronald Reagan, who died last year and won fame long before he became president for such roles as dying football star George Gipp in ”The Knute Rockne Story.”

Also included on the list was a name that former Hollywood action hero and now California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pinned on those who oppose him: “Girliemen.”