By Assistant Managing Editor
updated 11/16/2010 9:16:45 AM ET 2010-11-16T14:16:45

Her recent poll numbers suggest a slump, but Sarah Palin definitely scored two home runs Monday. The debut of her new TV reality series, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," set a ratings record for TLC Sunday night, and a mash-up word she made famous, "refudiate," was named "word of the year" by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

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The new TV show, which features Palin fishing, watching bears and doing other outdoor activities with her family, delivered 4.96 million viewers Sunday night, the "No. 1 program launch in TLC history ... besting the 'What Not to Wear' series launch in 2003," according to a TLC news release. Many writers and critics said Palin is hoping to bolster her image and her chances for a 2012 presidential bid with the TV series, but others said it just showcases Alaska's natural beauty and Palin's insights.

Video: Palin changes the campaign trail

"Sarah Palin's Alaska" runs for seven more weeks.

And in another coup over her critics, Palin's use of the word "refudiate" won the endorsement of a decidedly academic crowd. The New Oxford American Dictionary proclaimed it "Word of the Year."

"From a strictly lexical interpretation of the different contexts in which Palin has used 'refudiate,' we have concluded that neither 'refute' nor 'repudiate' seems consistently precise, and that 'refudiate' more or less stands on its own, suggesting a general sense of 'reject,' " the New Oxford American Dictionary said in a press release.

Palin is not the first politician to use the word, but she set off critics when she tweeted in July that "peaceful Muslims should "refudiate" a mosque planned near the site of the terrorist attacks in New York City. When bloggers took her to task, she fanned the flames by referencing Shakespeare: "'Refudiate, 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-weed up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

The Global Language Monitor Survey, which tracks how frequently English words are used, also included refudiate in its list of 2010's most popular words, along with "spillcam" and "vuvuzela," The Washington Post reported.

Other popular words in the survey:

"Lady Gaga"

"3D [movies]"

"Great recession"

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"Jersey Shore"

"Chilean coal miners"

"Tea Party"

"Anger and rage"

© 2013

Video: Does ‘Palin’s Alaska’ have hidden agenda?

  1. Closed captioning of: Does ‘Palin’s Alaska’ have hidden agenda?

    >>> made its debut.

    >> reporter: the producers of " sarah palin 's alaska " call it a family entertainment show, but it also advertises alaska and shows sarah palin as a rugged outdoors woman. in the first episode of " sarah palin 's alaska " the former vice presidential nominee is the ultimate frontiers woman, watching bears wrestle.

    >> it was amazing to watch. this mama grizzly, brown bear really, protecting her cubs.

    >> reporter: fishing for salmon.

    >> who's going to catch the first fish?

    >> even scaling dangerous glaciers.

    >> you have always wanted to be a rock climber.

    >> was it a rock climber or rock star ?

    >> reporter: and her husband playing cameraman and confidant.

    >> business is about rolling the dice.

    >> reporter: living next door is joe mcginnis, the investigative journalist.

    >> todd and his buddies gout there and built a 14-foot fence and others said this is what we need to do to secure or nation's border.

    >> reporter: tlc executives called the picturesque eight party series as --

    >> this is giving campaign advertising for someone who perhaps will have a presidential bid coming up.

    >> reporter: palin 's political standing has taken a beating recently. a new gallup poll shows the number of americans viewing palin unfavorably is high. 52% view her negatively, making her the most divisive -- karl rove said there are high standards that the american people have for the presidency and they require a certain level of graff tas.

    >> palin 's response?

    >> those standards have to be high for somebody who wants to run for president. wasn't ronald reagan an actor?

    >> reporter: and palin invites the cameras inside her home. although bristol currently seen on abc's dancing with the stars is absent for the first episode, palin 's feisty side kick , 9-year-old daughter piper takes center stage .

    >> my mom is super busy. she's addicted to the blackberry.

    >> reporter: and cameras catch a teenaged boy trying to sneak upstairs with palin 's 16-year-old daughter will row. .

    >> this gate is not just for trig, it's for no boys go upstairs.

    >> reporter: palin is heading out on a 14-stop tour. the tour includes two stops in iowa and one in south carolina , the state's key to the republicans' nomination.


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