Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Most Awkward Word of 2011: Haboob

It's almost the end of the year, so I wanted to commemorate it by choosing The Most Awkward Word of 2011. Based on the Global Language Monitor's list of the most commonly used words, phrases, and names for 2011, I chose the most awkward one: haboob. This word came into common use to describe dust storms that occurred in the Southwestern U.S. this past summer.

Definition: (from
1. a thick dust storm or sandstorm that blows in the deserts of North Africa and Arabia or on the plains of India

"Your room looks like it was hit by a haboob!"
"She came into my life like a haboob - completely consuming me and leaving nothing but dust in her wake."

Origin: (from
"1895–1900; Arabic habÅ«b a strong wind"

Awkwardness rating: 10

A real haboob is almost as scary as a messy room. (

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