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Word of the year: 'Hypermiling'

New Oxford American Dictionary crowns term that defines how some drivers reacted to high gas prices.

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By Lara Moscrip, CNNMoney.com contributing writer

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- This was the summer of $4 a gallon gas - and its impact on Americans is reflected in our lexicon.

The New Oxford American Dictionary crowned "hypermiling" as its word of the year for 2008.

To hypermile is to maximizing gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and driving techniques.

Hypermilers keep their tires properly inflated, remove the roof rack from their vehicles, and turn engines off rather than letting them idle at stoplights, according to a statement from the dictionary.

The term was coined in 2004 by Wayne Gerdes, and the dictionary reports that it has attracting a following who "push their gas tanks to the limit" in an effort to exceed EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

President-elect Barack Obama alluded to the practices of hypermiling on the campaign trail by recommending keeping tires properly inflated, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for EcoDriving, the dictionary reported.

Finalists

Frugalista: Person who leads a frugal lifestyle but stays fashionable and healthy by swapping clothes, buying second-hand, growing own produce, etc.

Moofer: A mobile out-of-office worker, as in someone who works away from a fixed workplace, via BlackBerry, a laptop, or Wi-Fi. Also can be used as a verbal noun, as in moofing.

Topless meeting: A meeting in which the participants are barred from using their laptops, BlackBerries or cellphones.

Toxic debt: Mainly sub-prime debts that are now proving so disastrous to banks. They were parceled up and sent around the global financial system like toxic waste, hence the allusion. To top of page

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