The Year in Catch-Phrases

Like every year, 2003 brought its own set of additions to the lexicon. Here are some of the terms we found rolling off our tongues in the past 12 months:

Bennifer: (search) The combination of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, who teased stargazers all year with their "When will they do it?" and then "Will they or won't they do it?" wedding (they never did it). Fans almost mercilessly turned against Bennifer when their first movie together, "Gigli," bombed at the box office.

Metrosexual: (search) An urbane, sophisticated, heterosexual man who is concerned with his skin, hair, clothes and other less-than-macho pursuits. This is a straight guy with a queer eye.

The Governator: (search) Combines the previous job of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger -- star of "The Terminator" and other action movies -- with his current job as governor of California.

"TiVo It": (search) Refers to recording a television show onto the hard drive of a TiVo or competing brand of digital video recorder, which is like a VCR with a hard drive.

Punk'd: (search) To be fooled, and named after the title of actor Ashton Kutcher's popular MTV celebrity prank show. The word officially entered the slang dictionary when the famously private David Letterman, pressed for details about his girlfriend, said to Kutcher's girlfriend Demi Moore, "I feel like I've been Punk'd."

Friendster: (search) Like an online dating site ... but for friends. The site allows people to form networks with their friends, their friends' friends and so on, and is largely used as a hook-up vehicle for single, urban 20-somethings. Several celebrities have confessed to being Friendster addicts, and the site was so popular this year that it was often impossible to sign on.

Go Bags: (search) Also called ready kits, Go Bags contain emergency supplies such as water, non-perishable food, flashlights, AM/FM radios and first-aid kits. Meant for preparedness in a natural or manmade disaster, the government pushed the kits in a national ad campaign this year.

SARS: (search) Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or the viral respiratory illness first reported in Asia in February that spread to North America, South America, Europe and Asia and caused many Americans to fear flying and Chinese food. Eight cases were confirmed in the U.S. as of Oct. 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Push Presents: (search) Also called baby baubles, they are gifts from husband to wife upon the birth of a baby -- usually expensive jewelry.

Words of War

Embedded reporters: (search) Journalists cleared and trained by the U.S. military to accompany troops on or near the front lines during Operation: Iraqi Freedom.

Shock and Awe: (search) The name of the targeted strike meant to kill Saddam Hussein that kicked off the Iraq war, it refers to an overwhelming use of military force that is meant to "shock and awe" an enemy into surrender. 

War blog: (search) Web diaries kept by soldiers, reporters and civilians describing the build-up, events and aftermath of the Iraq war.

Most-Wanted Cards: (search) A set of 55 playing cards issued by the U.S. Army to soldiers during and after the Iraq invasion. Each card displayed a high-ranking member of Saddam Hussein’s regime, with Saddam himself as the ace of spades. Modeled on a similar deck used in Europe during World War II, the deck was quickly knocked off for sale on street corners and the Internet.