The New Oxford American Dictionary recently announced unfriend as its Word of the Year for 2009, with notable runners-up death panel and teabagger bringing up the rear. Having already weighed in with our suggestions for words to add to the next dictionary, we decided to think big.

2009 is the last year of this decade, the one that started with that awful Y2K non-tastrophe. As such, we thought this would be a good time for us to celebrate the bon mots of the aughts. Whether you're a regular wordsmith or a guy who thinks lexicon is the name of a really smart Autobot, we guarantee you'll want to retweet our Words of the Decade. (Yep, it's in there.)

Prior to the 2000 election, you could be forgiven if you thought that hanging chads was the name of the preppy gang in Walter Hill's "Warriors," but we all soon found out that a chad is what comes out of a punch-card ballot, or hangs on for dear life when some ancient Floridian retiree feebly casts a vote for Pat Buchanan by accident. They gave us President George W. Bush and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. (popularized circa 2000)

Not to be confused with googol, which is a number, Googling is as much second nature to us now as shouting "Operator! Give me Klondike 5-4000!" was to your mom. Now, the hot trend is Googling yourself, which just makes us glad there was never a popular search engine called Interestingly, the Merriam-Webster online definition of Google comes with this helpful tip: Learn more about "google" with Bing! (2001)

Probably the most famous phrase for something that turned out not to exist. Aside from causing a war that killed tens of thousands, it also has the distinction of being the punch line to one of the worst jokes ever. (2002)

Roiling opposition to the Iraq War and everything Bush spurred the rise of a brand new form of journalism that made Cheeto-stained pajamas the new uniform of America's news editors. (2003)

Did it really take the deaths of 300,000 people for you to learn the difference between a tsunami and a tidal wave? (2004)

Until Hurricane Katrina, most of us simply thought of a levee as a dry destination for your Chevy. Thanks to the catastrophic failure of levees in the Gulf Coast region, we know better now. (2005)

When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth. Similarly, when there was no more room on MySpace due to all of the porn spam, America migrated to Facebook for all of their social networking and time-wasting needs. (2006)

w00t, pwn, Fail!, etc.
The syntax of the lonely gamer came into its own here, as long-simmering Internet memes, aided by the popularity of something called YouTube, crossed over into the mainstream. (2007)

The Twitter Family of Words
Twitter, tweet, Twitterverse, tweeps ... Replace any word's first two letters with "tw," and you've got a tword. Be twareful with words like what. (2008)

Prior to this year, socialist had a very specific meaning, but since the inauguration of President Obama, it has become a catch-all for angry people. While it used to refer to an economic system in which the government owns the means of production and distribution of goods and services, now it just means anything you pay taxes toward. (2009)