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Locavore: word of the year

Posted by Devra First  November 13, 2007 04:05 PM

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Yesterday the New Oxford American Dictionary announced its word of the year for 2007. It's "locavore." (Finally, an answer to whether it's spelled that way or "localvore.")

It certainly was a word we saw everywhere this year; it spread like wildfire. According to the Oxford University Press blog, the word was coined just two years ago, by these folks.

Within those two years, we've read books such as "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," watched "An Inconvenient Truth," even seen Wal-Mart start selling organic foods. "Locavore" is part of a zeitgeist. The real question is, in five or ten years, will it still be part of our vocabulary? What lasting impact will the growing awareness of dietary and environmental issues have on the way our food systems work and the way we eat?

I do think "locavore" stands a better chance of keeping its footing in the lexicon than some of the runners-up. Other candidates for word of the year included "cougar" ("an older woman who romantically pursues younger men"), "mumblecore" ("an independent film movement featuring low-budget production, non-professional actors, and largely improvised dialogue"), and "tase" ("to stun with a Taser [popularized by a Sep. 2007 incident in which a University of Florida student was filmed being stunned by a Taser at a public forum].")

Can you use them all in one sentence?

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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