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Yolo County, north of Sacramento, is home to UC Davis, the Cache Creek Casino and a county seat, Woodland, that still retains the flavor of its 19th century founding.

But it almost became world-famous this week for another reason -- its name.

The original Indian occupants of the area called it, as Anglicized, "Toloy-toy," and early white settlers shorttened that to "Yoloy," and later to "Yola" and finally, "Yolo," when it became one of California's first counties in 1850.

"YOLO," however, has also evolved into a texting and Twitter acronym meaning "you only live once." It was one of the finalists in the Oxford University Press USA's annual "word of the year" designation.

On Tuesday, however, "YOLO" lost out to "GIF," the extension designation for a certain kind of digital image that has morphed into a verb.

Or, as Oxford put it: "GIF verb to create a GIF file of (an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event): he GIFed the highlights of the debate."


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