Colbert's 'truthiness' triumphs as word of the year

Truthiness, a word coined by comedian Stephen Colbert on his satirical talk show, has been nominated as the word of 2006 by Merriam-Webster, the dictionary publisher.

Truthiness, a term created by comedian Stephen Colbert for his satiric talk show, has been declared the word of the year for 2006 by dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster.

The Comedy Central star first uttered the word in October 2005, the month The Colbert Report was launched, and has defined it as "truth that comes from the gut, not books."

Merriam-Webster said the word best summed up 2006, according to its online survey.

"We're at a point where what constitutes truth is a question on a lot of people's minds, and truth has become up for grabs," said Merriam-Webster president John Morse. " 'Truthiness' is a playful way for us to think about a very important issue."

The following words made the top 10 list:

  • Google.
  • Decider.
  • War.
  • Insurgent.
  • Terrorism.
  • Vendetta.
  • Sectarian.
  • Quagmire.
  • Corruption.

The Colbert Report is an offshoot of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Colbert joined the show in 1997 as one of its "correspondents" and has also earned four Emmys as one of its writers.

On his own show, the comedian plays an obtuse but well-meaning right-wing commentator.

"What an honour," said the 42-year-old comedian. "Truthiness now joins the lexicographical pantheon with words like 'squash,' 'merry,' 'crumpet,' 'the,' 'xylophone,' 'circuitous,' 'others' and others."

Colbert, in character, mocked the folks at Merriam-Webster, calling them "word police" and a bunch of "wordinistas."

"Though I'm no fan of reference books and their fact-based agendas, I am a fan of anyone who chooses to honour me."

Merriam-Webster's top word of 2005 was "integrity."

With files from the Associated Press