2005: The Year in Catch Phrases

A year can be told in pictures, this is true. A timeline can help illustrate an annual list of events.

But what better way to celebrate a year than to recall the words and catch phrases that passed our lips -- words we never uttered prior to Jan. 1, 2005.

Let's begin with our favorite word of year, which isn't a word at all:


As speculation began to swirl around "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (could the pouty-lipped do-gooder be the reason why Brad and Jen broke up???), a new word was born. Yes, it pays homage to Bennifer, the doomed union of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez that was as much a media sensation as it was a romance. But it also captures this year's hottest couple in a simple, sound-bite-friendly word. Sadly, Vaughniston, Vinnifer and Vaniston have not proven as popular.

(Angelina and Brad also made the list of the top celebrity starmaritans, or Good Samaritan stars who pitched in to help out with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and other causes; Kanye West also helped out but became better known for saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people.")


TomKat, on the other hand, rolled off the tongues of those fascinated by the insta-love affair between megastar Tom Cruise and "Dawson's Creek" ingenue Katie Holmes. A uni-name seemed especially appropriate for these two, as pregnant Katie seems to have left her religion, friends, publicists and movie career behind in order to be with Tom (if you believe tabloid reports). She now also must live in fear of being glib.

Which brings us to our next phrase...

The Couch Jump

Many a cliche has been dedicated to the act of falling madly, head-over-heels in love. You're jumping for joy. Your head is in the clouds. You have butterflies in your stomach. You're seeing stars. But thanks to Tom Cruise's infamous proclamation of his love for Katie Holmes on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," jumping on a couch is the new way to show your undying devotion. Roses and jewelry are so 2004.

The couch jump wasn't the only phrase born of a celeb moment-of-shame ...

Phone rage

We had road rage and air rage. But simply making a call to one's wife was never considered too stressful a situation (spousal difficulties aside). That all changed when Russell Crowe took it upon himself to toss his cell phone at a concierge at a swanky New York hotel. Some even went so far as to call the "Gladiator" star a Jerkus Maximus.


Perhaps that's why Crowe didn't make the list of the year's top 10 celebrity ubersexuals. The ubersexual, who according to author Marian Salzman has overtaken metrosexual men in the sex appeal department, might groom himself with expensive products, but he would never, under any circumstances, highlight, wax or self-tan. He embraces the positive aspects of his masculinity without giving in to the macho stereotypes that give guys a bad name. And that includes phone-throwing.


But men weren't the only ones embarrassing themselves this year. Runaway Bride Jennifer Wilbanks shocked the nation in April when she disappeared four days before her 600-guest wedding. Hundreds of police officers and volunteers searched for her for three days -- at a cost of $43,000 to the city of Duluth, Ga. -- only to find out that she had fled because of personal issues (which she only later admitted after first claiming to have been abducted and sexually assaulted). However, Wilbanks is said to be dealing with mental health issues.

Speaking of the ladies, Paris Hilton didn't have quite the success in '05 that she had in '04. But she did introduce Americans to a new animal: the kinkajou.

California authorities told Paris she had to give up her monkey-like kinkajou Baby Luv or move to another state, as the wild tree-dweller is forbidden there. And animal activists and kinkajou experts blasted Hilton for keeping the South American rain-forest animal as a pet.

But the kinkajou wasn't nearly as controversial as the puggle. After the New York Post ran a feature in November on the adorable, in-demand beagle/pug hybrids, some puggle Web sites had to shut down due to an overload of traffic. But animal advocates say people who breed designer pets may get the worst of both worlds.

Animal rights activists weren't the only ones up in arms this year. Calls for a "nurse-in" began on the Internet mere moments after Barbara Walters uttered a negative remark about public breast-feeding on her talk show, "The View," in June.

The protest, inspired by similar events this year organized by a growing group of lactivists, brought about 200 women to ABC's Manhattan headquarters, where they stood nursing their babies in the middle of the street.

Other people freaked out about "Freakonomics," the title of a bestselling book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner that, among other things, revealed that legalized abortion may be responsible for the huge mid-'90s drop in crime, and that drug dealers don't make much money.

People also showed interest in the economy on Cyber Monday, the day after Thanksgiving weekend. While people have traditionally hit the stores on the day after Thanksgiving (known, for that reason, as Black Friday), the practice of online shopping on Cyber Monday is only now widespread enough to merit its own phrase.

But the digital age is not without its pitfalls. PDA users complained this year of Blackberry Thumb, a catch-all phrase that describes a repetitive stress injury of the thumb as a result of overusing small gadget keypads.

And working your thumbs rather than your major muscle groups will surely contribute to globesity, the phrase coined this year to describe the global explosion of obesity.

Epidemic watchers also became concerned this year about bird flu as a virus infecting millions of birds spread throughout Asia and parts of Europe, killing about half of the 120 people who have contracted it as a result of close contact with poultry.

While the virus has not yet appeared in the United States, or spread from person to person, officials worry bird flu could eventually mutate and become a deadly pandemic.

Americans also debated the value of a living will, due to the influence of the Terri Schiavo case, and booed or cheered anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, known as Peace Mom.

But it wasn't all doom and gloom in 2005; people still found plenty of time to entertain themselves. Whether they were dressing in boho chic fashions, listening to a podcast on their iPod Nano, playing sudoku or with their Xbox 360 or vlogging, they were having fun in a variety of new ways.

They also, only recently, began tuning in to "the gay cowboy movie," otherwise known as "Brokeback Mountain."

Others enjoyed looking for telltale Baby Bumps on their favorite stars; watching Brad Dad hold hands with Maddox (aka Braddox) as Angelina toted newly adopted Zahara in a Baby Bjorn; tuning in to Britney and Kevin "K-Fed" Federline (also known as Spenderline's) reality show; checking out Owen Wilson, aka "the Butterscotch Stallion," in "Wedding Crashers" and bemoaning that "you can't convict a celebrity in California" as Jacko and Blake went free.

Finally, one phrase that just didn't fit this year: Martha Stewart's "You just don't fit." While the domestic diva hoped her slogan would be '05's version of the Donald's "You're Fired," the phrase, and the show, did not sweep the nation.

Better luck next year, Martha!