A language-watch group has chosen the word "refugee" to top its list of words of the year.

The non-profit Global Language Monitor Friday announced the results of its annual worldwide survey of the year's most important words and phrases.

"Refugee" was liberally used to describe people fleeing the year's many weather emergencies. Some in the United States deemed it racist when applied to Hurricane Katrina victims, many of whom were black.

Second on the list was "tsunami," a word the group says was little-known before gigantic earthquake-generated waves devastated Indian Ocean shores late last year.

Among the top 10 phrases of the year was "jumping the couch," used to describe an uncontrolled emotional outburst. Actor Tom Cruise ecstatically hopped atop a couch on The Oprah Winfrey Show this year when asked about his love affair with actress Katie Holmes.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.