'Tebowing' enters the English language

Posted at 12/13/11 1:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - "Tebowing," defined as "the act of taking a knee in prayerful reflection in the midst of an athletic activity," has been acknowledged as an English language word.

Texas-based Global Language Monitor (GLM) on Monday said tebowing has been referred to by so many people it has met the criteria of reach, mirroring the rate of adoption of the word "Obamamania" in early 2008.

The term was named after American football player Tim Tebow, who was photographed in a moment of prayerful reflection after his team, the Denver Broncos, won against the Miami Dolphins early this year.

"Sports have become significant generators of new cultural trends and memes that transcend the athletic arena," Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst of GLM, said in a statement.

"The ESPN sports broadcasting network has widely championed the word. The tebowing.com website devoted to people posing in the tebowing position has been wildly popular. The New York Timeshas recently carried an editorial on the subject and the Chinese search engine, Baidu.com, already has hundreds of citations for tebowing," he added.

GLM has been recognizing new words since 2003.

It recently released its Top Words, Phrases and Names of the Year lists, which are led by "occupy" (top word of the year), "Arab Spring" (top phrase of the year) and "Steve Jobs" (top name of the year).

GLM said the English language has some 1.58 billion speakers across the globe.