Dictionary.com has chosen a word you've probably never heard of as the word of the year for 2011.
The word is Tergiversate and it is a verb meaning "to change repeatedly one's attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc." or to turn renegade. Basically it means you like to change your mind a lot.
Pronounced "ter-jiv-er-sate", editors say they chose it because it's associated with rapidly changing situations and is fitting to our political and economic times.
"We think that it's immensely rewarding to find existing words that capture a precise experience and this year tumult has been the norm rather than the exception," says the website's head of content Jay Schwartz in a Daily Mail article. "The word encompasses a sense of 'flip-flopping' but it also implies a number of other complicating forces."
Editors say in a statement there are two ways to choose a word of the year. They can either select words in common usage such as "occupy" or pick a word that captures the character of the year. They asked their Facebook fans to pick one of the methods and almost seven out of 10 chose the second one. So editors used their own service to find a word.
"To choose a word like 'occupy', 'Arab Spring', or 'austerity' would be an evaluation of events from our narrow vantage," reads a statement. "We do not yet know what the impact of these events will be on a historical scale, whether there will be any long-term change as a result of the Occupy movement or whether democracy has finally come to the Middle East.
The word dates back to 1645 and is derived for the Latin term Tergiversor, meaning to turn one's back or make excuses.
While tergiversate may not be common place it has been used in the press before.
"The tergiversations of stock markets are often puzzling from the outside," writes Oliver Kamm of The Times of London. BBC reporter Denis Dedej also used it in an article on Albanian politics.
Runners-up this year included "occupy" meaning to be a resident or tenant of, "austerity" meaning severity of manner, "quietus" meaning a finishing stroke and "winning" meaning charming, engaging or pleasing.
Last year's word was 'change' to describe the word becoming a different place.
"Words of the moment and clever coinages are great fun, but tergiversate continues to resonate across a variety of experiences from the past year," reads a statement. "And don't you think it's better to walk away from a dictionary having learned something new?"