Word Of The Year
If you type “word of the year” into google, you will get results. The first page has three dictionaries weighing in, and several repeat entries. A few new stories report a fourth contest. “Searches related to” turns up a fifth. This is enough. Pictures for this report are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
Oxford Dictionaries gives the top spot to Post-Truth. “The compound word post-truth … seems to have been first used in this meaning in a 1992 essay by the late Serbian-American playwright Steve Tesich in The Nation magazine. Reflecting on the Iran-Contra scandal and the Persian Gulf War, Tesich lamented that ‘we, as a free people, have freely decided that we want to live in some post-truth world’.” The OD shortlist: adulting, alt-right, Brexiteer,. chatbot, coulrophobia, (rare extreme or irrational fear of clowns) glass cliff, hygge, Latinx, woke.
Merriam Webster gives the prize to Surreal. The MW short list: revenant, icon, In Omnia Paratus, bigly, deplorable, irregardless, Assumpsit, Faute de Mieux, feckless. To see the short listers, you have to click on the arrow. After feckless, the next stop is 9 Christmas Words with Surprising Histories.
Dictionary.com gives us Xenophobia. “The word xenophobia is actually relatively new, and only entered English in the late 1800s. It finds its roots in two Greek words, xénos meaning “stranger, guest,” and phóbos meaning “fear, panic.” In lieu of a short list, links are provided to What Character Was Removed from the Alphabet? and What’s the Grossest-Sounding Word in English?
Collins Language gives the WOTY prize to Brexit. Rounding out the top ten: Hygge, mic drop, Trumpism, throw shade, sharenting, snowflake generation, dude food, Uberization, JOMO.
American Dialect Society honors Dumpster Fire as the WOTY. In a rather wonky press release, ADS lists contenders in a few categories. WORD OF THE YEAR: dumpster fire, woke, normalize, post-truth, #NoDAPL, POLITICAL WORD OF THE YEAR: deplorables (basket of), nasty woman, Pantsuit Nation, post-truth, unpresidented, DIGITAL WORD OF THE YEAR: fam, Harambe, tweetstorm, SLANG WORD OF THE YEAR: fire, receipts, woke MOST USEFUL/MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED: chip, gaslight, normalize, turn up MOST CREATIVE: -exit, facticide, gynotician, laissez-fairydust EUPHEMISM OF THE YEAR: alt-right, fake news, locker-room banter, small/tiny hands WTF WORD OF THE YEAR: bigly, cuck, cuckservative, pussy, yuuuge, HASHTAG OF THE YEAR: #blackgirlmagic, #NoDAPL, #OscarsSoWhite, #pussygrabsback. ATTITUDE OF THE YEAR: liberal elite nonsense ADS prejudice.
American Name Society (Promoting the study of onomastics) is a sibling organization of the ADS. “Aleppo was chosen the Name of the Year for 2016 by the American Name Society at its annual meeting in Austin, Texas on January 6, 2017.” Other winners include Personal NOTY Drumpf, Fictional NOTY Hamilton, Trade NOTY (tie) Brexit, Uber.