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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 11:56 GMT
Sideways helps spread wine jargon
Paul Giamatti (l) and Thomas Haden Church
The comedy has prompted a huge interest in wine-tasting
The word "pinot", used repeatedly in wine-tasting comedy Sideways, has topped a US poll of showbusiness words influencing the English language.

Referring to the wine Pinot Noir, the word crops up throughout the comedy, which is nominated for five Oscars.

According to Global Language Monitor, the film about Ray Charles' life, Ray, boosted use of the word "genius".

The term "wardrobe malfunction" won in 2004, after Janet Jackson flashed her breast at the Super Bowl.

The top 15 most influential words were dominated by Oscar-nominated films, with "hand washing" coming in third place after the obsessional behaviour of lead character Howard Hughes in The Aviator.

Global influence

"Mo chuisle", the Celtic name of boxer Maggie Fitzgerald, played by Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, came in at number four.

The word "Gipper" appeared at number five, in tribute to Ronald Reagan, who died in 2004 and whose roles included dying American football star George Gipp in The Knute Rockne Story.

Global Language Monitor president Paul JJ Payack said: "Hollywood has an all-encompassing, pervasive, and global influence.

"There is no question that in 2004, the Hollywood dream factory continued to have a most profound impact upon word choice and usage for global English."


The term "animation" entered at number 11 after a profitable year for the genre with box office successes like Shrek 2, The Incredibles and Shark Tale.

Sideways was also responsible for the word "Frass" at number 14, after the Frass Valley Winery featured in the film.

The California wine region has undergone a bumper year since the comedy, directed by Alexander Payne, made wine-tasting a hot topic.

Global Language Monitor analyses the latest trends in word usage and their impact on various aspects of culture.

Watch a clip from Sideways


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