Jiyu Kokuminsha (自由国民社) have compiled a list of the 60 most popular Japanese words and phrases of 2008. Its really amusing - take a look here. This website has also briefly listed the meanings and backgrounds behind each word in English.
As I spent summer in Japan this year, I can happily recognise some of the phrases listed, with many of them bringing back some nice memories. Such as the people at work joking about the annoying 「グ～！」 and the evil ゲリラ豪雨 Guerilla rainstorms. I have never experienced rain like it! I was forever wet... :( ...And the schoolkids outside my home singing "Ponyo, Ponyo Ponyo Sakana no ko" 「ポニョ、ポニョ、ポニョ、魚の子・・」 And I really really really want to read the book ホームレス中学生~ I wish I'd have bought it in Japan now... Just felt guilty that I was buying so many books and my luggage weight limit was ridiculously little...
Ah~ Even though it was tough times, it was all good memories.
Wonder when I'll get to live in Japan again...?