"grease" out, "w00t" is the word! (plus vote for me & a word to expat bloggers in italy)

Various announcements this Friday, so let’s get to it:


Merriam-Webster has recently named its Word of the Year. It’s “w00t” and yes, those are zeros in the middle of it. Yes Virginia, this is a word that’s not even made up of letters.

W00t is defined as “expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word ‘yay.'”

Hey, who knew that “yay” was a word?

Anyway, you can read more about “w00t” and its origins here. As much as I love an evolving language, are we getting a bit too lax on the criteria when words are made of numbers?

I’m kidding (mostly) but what I’m really wondering is how long it is before I hear Italian children shouting this in the piazza:

“Ci vediamo dopo…w00t!”

Eh. I guess it’s still better than all the English-turned-Italian technological terms that have become part of the lingo around here like clickare, downloadare . . . bloggare. Don’t get me started.


Write From Karen's Photo Contest 5: Holiday Cheer

As you may know, I recently entered this photo in Write From Karen’s Photo Contest 5: Holiday Cheer:

Pap (Holiday Cheer) Pap

Doesn’t Pap Pap just *scream* Holiday Cheer?!

You can read more about the background of this photo here in my official entry to the contest, but let me just say that for the record, Pap, who has since passed away, put these bows on himself of his own volition. And it was so very out of character that the hilarity was monumentally increased.

You still have time to enter your own photo (until 4 pm Central today) but then just an hour later at 5 pm Central today, I invite you to vote for my photo in the contest–voting lasts through the weekend until 8 pm Central on Monday, December 17, so you have a few days to get to it.

There will be a voting poll here when the precincts open.

Make your voice heard!

Grazie mille in advance!


This is a note to my fellow expat bloggers in Italy. If you haven’t already, head over to Valerie’s 2 Baci in a Pinon Tree to see about a contest she’s running just for us.And to those who aren’t expat bloggers in Italy, head on over to Valerie’s anyway for some great reading on her and her husband Bryan‘s move to Ascoli Piceno in Le Marche from New Mexico.

Valerie is trying to compile a blogroll of all of us expats who blog from Italy–a very worthy pursuit–and so she’s asking us to send her an email at:




with the following info:

Your Name (as well as your blog moniker if you use one)

Your Blog’s Name and URL address

A one-line description of your blog’s focus

Your Location (city and region)

Send the email by December 30 and you can win “[a] brand-spanking new English translation of the quintessential Italian cookbook, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi.”

Sounds great to me!

And that’s all for today kids. Busy weekend ahead for many of us, I’m sure, so…

Buon weekend!



24 Beans of Wisdom to “"grease" out, "w00t" is the word! (plus vote for me & a word to expat bloggers in italy)”
  1. Madelyne

    maybe Pap Pap needs to say ‘Woot’ a bit more

  2. sognatrice

    *Madelyne, hah! Of all the things I can imagine my Pap saying, “w00t” is certainly not one of them πŸ˜‰

  3. My Melange

    I used to call my Grandfather- Pop Pop! He was my favorite πŸ˜‰

  4. sognatrice

    *Robin, hee hee…some grandfathers are just the best, aren’t they?

    Btw, you should be able to sign in with your TypeKey login now so it’ll link to your blog?

  5. Stefanie

    What?!? I am heartily disappointed in Merriam-Webster. πŸ™ I was going to say “next up, they’ll be making ‘LOL’ a real word,” but chances are, they already have. I am too scared to look.

    I’m sorry. Evolving language is one thing, but allowing “text-speak” into the “real” dictionary is not evolving, if you ask me!

  6. sognatrice

    *Stefanie, from what I understand, w00t hasn’t actually been accepted into the “real” dictionary, but it is part of the online “open dictionary.”

    I know. You say “tomayto” right?

    Shaking my head here as well….

  7. witnessing am i

    It seems as if Websters has been trying hard the last few years to appeal to the younger crowd. They seem to be adding things in order to stay current, for the sake of staying current, without a great deal of thought. Is “w00t” the best they can do? I remember when they added “ain’t” in the dictionary many years ago, that was a big deal back then. It was if — somehow — a word everyone used and knew of had passed the Webster guard.

    So, I wonder, since they are now adding digits within words, do they add “00” to the pronunciation key? If I am just learning the language (or a word), how the heck do I pronounce the double zero?

    Have a great weekend, Sognatrice. (I’m roasting chestnuts tonight!!)

  8. sognatrice

    *David, I think you’re right. And anyway I was always taught that “ain’t ain’t a word and you ain’t supposed to use it.” Mah.

    Anyway when I see people use “w00t” in blogs and whatnot, they always use the regular old o’s. Good point about the pronunciation key

    Have fun with those chestnuts and have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  9. Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah)

    Woot? Woot! Well, yep, it’s great that language evolves but the criteria seem to get, as you say, more lax by the day. As it is, I find, aging person that I am, that I can barely understand teens when they speak as it is – I’m wondering which of us comes from another planet! πŸ˜‰

  10. The Other Girl

    “w00t” made the dictionary? OMGWTFBBQ I AM SO EXCITED!!!111!!eleven!!1

    Seriously, who thought that was a good idea? I mean, I have on occasion used “woot” online (though not with zeros), but I didn’t feel good about myself afterwards.

  11. sognatrice

    *Absolute, I hear you. The generation gap just keeps getting bigger and bigger….

    *TheOG, PLEASE BLOG. Would it help if I made you a LOLcat? Hey I wonder if that’s a word yet….

  12. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Ok… first, I voted for you (can I do that yet? If I was too early, I’ll go back and vote again later).


    w00t? Are you serious? I have so many problems with that, that I don’t even know where to begin.
    Who was trying to be cool and made that an official word? Since when do we have words with numbers in them?
    Since when did slang become acceptable language?

    Henry Higgins would have sung quite a scathing anti-w00t song. Where is he now?

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  13. Anonymous

    I already notice that word quite a lot in italian forums and ml, so yes, it won’t be long before the spoken language gets W00Ted too.

    And there’s far worse then “downloadare” and suchlike. I actually know people (italians) who would say “lol” out loud(1) rather then laugh and use the corresponding derived words, as in “Quel film era lollosissimo : la scena al ristorante mi ha fatto lollare come un matto”.

    I guess updating a dictionary isn’t much unlike shopping for new clothes. You try a word that looks popular now and hope you won’t be ashamed to wear it on your pages a few years later.


    (1) we could call that SLOLOL :”saying lol out loud”, but then someone would surely start using it and we would be forced into an endless string of increasingly long acronyms (SSLOLOLOL,SSSLOLOLOLOL…)

  14. paolaccio

    The thing is, I can’t say that I’ve ever heard anyone actually say w00t – and I know a fair amount of gamers – just as I’ve never heard someone say LOL.

    All that being said, I agree with the guy that said that should have been the word on 2002. 2007 was more of a “kthxbai” year…

  15. Karina

    OMG, so they do that in Italy too? My grandfather watches a channel from Portugal and I’ve heard them say things like “drivar” and “parkar” (as in to drive and park with a Portuguese twist), and it blows my mind. My late grandmother, the former teacher, would be appaled.

  16. paolaccio

    I just had to scannerizare something for my cittadinanza application…

  17. Shameless

    Wonderful photo! πŸ™‚

  18. Professor J

    Great photo! I voted for you. My personal favorite is students who write with numbers instead of words in their essays. “I will vote 4 your photo in the contest.” Now I know that the appropriate response would be,”w00t.”

  19. paolaccio

    Ehi Michelle, come ti va colla neve? Neve in Calabria, chi avrebbe figuratosi…

  20. Zen Chef

    W00t…. Just finished w00ting for you! Yay!!!

  21. african vanielje

    Not a terrible word, but I like Oxford’s word of the year better : Locavore (it’s what I’m all about)

  22. sognatrice

    *Scarlett, if you voted through the poll, it should’ve counted; hopefully it worked!

    As for w00t, I have to admit I didn’t think I’d get so many comments agreeing with me…yeah let’s be fuddy duddies together πŸ˜‰

    *Luigi, lollissimo! Mi hai fatto lollare! Hahahahahaaaa! Or should I say LOL (out loud)? I love the analogy between new words and new clothes. Your comments are always such a joy to read πŸ™‚

    *Paolaccio, when you come back you come back with a bang, eh? Kthxbai right back at you. Ahem.

    As you might imagine, these kind of words make for the best opportunities for P and me to really make up our own language–from English to Italian to exaggerated Italian back to English is my favorite. Like I might now call you a scannerizatore or even a scannerizer depending on my mood, and I’d mean that in the best possible way.

    I could be wrong, but I think W (The Shrub) might do this too….

    Hope you’ve seen the snowy post by now πŸ™‚

    *Karina, somehow it comforts me that the Portuguese have fallen into the trap too–thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    *Shameless, thanks πŸ™‚

    *Prof, I just saw something on Fox News yesterday talking about textspeak making its way into college essays and such. Interesting, and by interesting I mean scary.

    *Zen Chef, triple w00t!

    *Inge, ah, I love that word too! I’ll admit I didn’t know it until you pointed me there, but I’m with you!

    For anyone who’s interested, read more at:

    Oxford Word of the Year: Locavore

  23. andiesummerkiss

    w00t! I voted for you!

  24. sognatrice

    *Andie, thank you!

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake