If you find yourself looking for a dictionary (or more likely heading to Google) after reading that ‘tergiversate’ is Dictionary.com’s word of the year, you’re probably not alone.

The verb means “to change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.” or to “equivocate.” Dictionary.com’s Head of Content Jay Schwartz explained the obscure selection to The Huffington Post:

“We’re taking a stand on this choice. 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. There are contested public spaces around the world, where people are demonstrating in one direction or another. Opinions and circumstances have been oscillating so much.

Other words considered for the honor included “occupy”, “austerity”, “jobs”, “zugzwang” and “insidious.” What, “Kardashian” didn’t make the cut?

What do you think the word of the year should be? And could you ever use “tergiversate” in a sentence with a straight face?

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