• Nov 10th 2008 at 7:32PM
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As 2008 officially draws to a close, the time has come for all of us to look back and remember what defined our lives for the last twelve months. For most Americans, and in fact the entire globe, fuel prices were very much responsible for how we lived our lives. That's why it's not at all surprising that Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year for 2008 is "hypermiling."
For those outside the green movement, hypermiling is defined by the word-meisters of Oxford this way: "Hypermiling" or "to hypermile" is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

So, there you have it. How long 'till hyper is replaced by wondermileage or excessivemileage? Thanks for the tip, Rebecca!

[Source: Oxford University Press Blog]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't stand these cunts. I mean seriously, WHY would anyone in this world wish to engage in stupidity like leaving your car in neutral and pushing it down an incline, only to have to rapidly jump in, shut your door, and start the engine before smacking into the curb or car in front of you? REALLY? Just for a few more MPG? Or tailgaiting a semi? Christ. I mean get this: if ONE car gets 5-10 more MPG at the cost of halving 100's of cars because they've caused an asinine traffice stranglehold, is it REALLY hyper anything (besides retarded)?

      Remember kiddies, speed limit in the slow lane, +5 in the middle, and +10 in the fast lane, and we'll all be more sane.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, he's referring to a technique used to start cars, as from a space in a parking lot - they get the car rolling, then hop in and start the engine so they don't have to launch from a dead stop. It's one of the more extreme hypermiling measures.
        • 6 Years Ago
        People actually do that (push the car down a hill and jump in)?

        Wow.

        Just wow.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're probably being sarcastic, but I'm curious nonetheless: wouldn't keeping it in neutral down a hill use more gas anyway?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every time I hear that term I think of Space Balls, and really want to utter "They've gone to plaid!"

      ...that's probably just me though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ludicrousmiling!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thanks so much for providing us with all this great info about hypermiling. Too Shy to Stop writer Isabel Adams just did an article for our magazine about hypermiling. You can read the full article here.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Using less gas is great, but it's really annoying when the driver next to me is staring at the digital display on their fuel consumption and forcing me to gas-it excessively to move around them to exit since they've got a traffic jam behind them. One driver's savings is another's expense.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As a very patient bicyclist, walker, driver (in that order), without explaining myself further, yes--forced.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Really? They're *forcing* you to gas it extra hard and get around them? Or you're too impatient to cruise behind them until a safe passing window opens up?
      • 6 Years Ago
      i would have guessed 'bailout' but this an auto forum, although...
      ride
      • 6 Years Ago
      "push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon" YEAH RIGHT.

      hypermorons.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ride
        You're saying you think it's physically impossible to drive more economically than the EPA model? You are incorrect.

        My car is rated for 29mpg highway. I regularly get 36mpg over extended distances by only employing mild hypermiling techniques like driving at the speed limit and not making unnecessary full-throttle passing maneuvers.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it takes a special kind of person to set out to do this....
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Prius has replaced the Tahoe in my crosshairs. Why are the extremes of motoring so annoying? And Prius drivers, not using your turn signals does not increase your millage. Turn down the NPR and concentrate on getting out of my goddam way.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does this word annoy anyone else? IMHO, it sounds stupid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Hypermiling." Or better yet, the Year of The Douche. Traffic flow has significantly degraded this year, and not because there are more cars. What there are more of is asshats cruising down the middle lane at 55 mph in their Prius. So-called "hypermiling" should be a ticketable offense.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Traffic is actually caused by large semi trucks and people tailgating. Usually when someone is going 55 you should be able to get around them no? Its the people that like to ride the bumpers of cars that makes things worse. If everyone just tried to maintain a cruising speed during traffic build up, it would be much better. But there is always that Douche who weaves through lanes in heavy traffic to get 2 cars ahead.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'll bet the vast majority of the "Asshats" going 55 in their Priuses don't have any idea what hypermiling is. Don't mistake slow drivers for hypermilers. It's not the same thing.

        Just because someone is in your way doesn't make them a hypermiler.
        • 6 Years Ago
        AS far as I know its a ticketable offence here where I live in Canada if you are going 25 km/h or slower on a highway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oxford must be written by third graders. The wording "maximize gas mileage" is a poor choice of words for a formal definition. It is a bit US centric as it denotes a particular fuel type and unit of measure common to the US. It should probably be stated as "maximize fuel economy".
        • 6 Years Ago
        Took the words out of my mouth. Not to mention that the definition isn't very accurate or descriptive. The 'good mileage or even great mileage' line bugs the crap out of me.
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