Merriam-Webster's president, John Morse, said "w00t" was an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology.
"It shows a really interesting thing that's going on in language. It's a term that's arrived only because we're now communicating electronically with each other," Morse said.
Gamers commonly substitute numbers and symbols for the letters they resemble, Morse says, creating what they call "l33t speak" that's "leet" when spoken, short for "elite" to the rest of the world.
At least last year's word, "truthiness" was a word, rather than letters and numbers. And it was a Colbert word, no less!