Five Years Later, 'Truthiness' Endures

Colbert's favorite word is hotter than ever
By Emily Rauhala,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2010 6:39 AM CDT
Five Years Later, 'Truthiness' Endures
Stephen Colbert, wordsmith.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, file)

It was five years ago today, and Stephen Colbert needed a word that could personify the "blowhard" persona he was about to launch on the Colbert Report. He was looking for something "sublimely idiotic," something "silly" with which to mock American pundits, writes Ben Zimmer in his New York Times "On Language" column. In a moment of inspiration, he picked "truthiness." A star was born.

Though some geeks predicted truthiness would fade, the term scored Word of the Year that year and has entered the New Oxford American Dictionary and even inspired other new words—like one columnist who referred to Paris Hilton's "fame-iness." And, when Glen Beck announced his march to "Restore Honor," Colbert fans planned their own march to "Restore Truthiness." Colbert demurred, saying truthiness needs no restoring.
(More The Colbert Report stories.)

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