Word of the Year

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Merriam-Webster Settles on 2020 Word of the Year

'Pandemic'

(Newser) - Last year, Merriam-Webster picked "they" as its word of the year. In 2020, people had other things on their minds. The dictionary announced Monday that "pandemic" is the new word of the year. One stat explains why: Lookups of the word on the dictionary's website spiked 115,...

2020 'Left Us Speechless.' The Word of the Year Reflects That

Oxford simply couldn't pick just one

(Newser) - In 2019, Oxford Languages' word (or term, rather) of the year was "climate emergency." In 2020, however, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary ran into a conundrum : It soon realized that this year has been like no other, and one that simply couldn't be summed up...

One Word of the Year Is Depressingly 2020

'Lockdown' usage up 6K% from 2019: Collins Dictionary

(Newser) - In 2019, there were just 4,000 recorded instances in which the word "lockdown" was used, according to the Collins Dictionary. Of course, we had no idea what was coming. This year, there were more than 250,000 uses for a 6,000% increase, Collins says. It was enough...

Cartoon 'Spork' Helped Drive Dictionary's Word of the Year

Forky from 'Toy Story 4' understands 'existential' better than many of us, per Dictionary.com

(Newser) - Climate change, gun violence, the very nature of democracy, and an angsty little movie star called Forky helped propel "existential" to Dictionary.com's word of the year. The choice reflects months of high-stakes threats and crises, real and pondered, across the news and the world, and throughout 2019....

Merriam-Webster Picks Its Word of the Year

'Justice'

(Newser) - The word of the year, at least in the eyes of Merriam-Webster? "Justice." The dictionary's editor at large tells the AP that M-W isn't "editorializing"—the pick is made largely on a spike in people looking it up throughout the year on the dictionary'...

Another Year, Another Depressing Word to Define It

Hello, misinformation

(Newser) - "Misinformation," as opposed to "disinformation," was chosen Monday as Dictionary.com's word of the year on the tattered coattails of "toxic," picked earlier this month for the same honor by Oxford Dictionaries. Jane Solomon, a linguist-in-residence at Dictionary.com, says that her site'...

Oxford Reveals Word of the Year
Oxford Reveals
Word of the Year

Oxford Reveals Word of the Year

It's "toxic"

(Newser) - Oxford Dictionaries has revealed 2018's Word of the Year, and it's not an uplifting one: "toxic." Oxford says it found a 45% increase in searches for that word on oxforddictionaries.com, and also explained that the word is increasingly being used both literally and figuratively. NPR...

Ivanka, Jeff Flake Uttered Dictionary.com's Word of Year

So did Scarlett Johansson

(Newser) - Russian election influence, the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal, mass shootings, and the opioid epidemic helped elevate the word "complicit" as Dictionary.com's word of the year for 2017. Look-ups of the word increased nearly 300% over last year as "complicit" hit just about every hot button, from...

M-W Word of the Year Proves 2016 Was Nuts

Merriam-Webster chooses 'surreal'

(Newser) - You're not the only one who'd describe 2016 as "surreal." Merriam-Webster has chosen the synonym for "unbelievable"—officially defined as "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream"—as its word of the year, noting searches for "surreal" spiked following...

Austria's Word of the Year Has 51 Letters

And it was born of a messy presidential election

(Newser) - For all those who don't speak German—and indeed for those who do—here is Austria's word of the year, adding to the challenges of reading and speaking the language. It's "Bundespraesidentenstichwahlwiederholungsverschiebung," or "postponement of the repeat of the runoff of the presidential election....

This Word of the Year Is 'a Sentiment to Be Fought'

Dictionary.com chooses 'xenophobia'

(Newser) - Last year, Dictionary.com chose "identity" as its word of the year because "many of the year's biggest stories focused on the way in which individuals or members of a group are perceived, understood, accepted, or shut out." Along those same lines, the website has this...

Donald Trump Inspired This Word of the Year

'Post-truth' gets the nod from Oxford Dictionaries

(Newser) - Oxford Dictionaries has taken inspiration from the US election in choosing its 2016 word of the year: "post-truth." How does "post-truth" relate to Donald Trump? Well, Oxford's own definition of the adjective—use of which spiked 2,000% this year, especially when Trump won the Republican...

This 'Word of the Year' Is Actually a Suffix

Merriam-Webster gives 'ism' the honor for 2015

(Newser) - First Oxford Dictionaries went with an emoji . Now Merriam-Webster has named its "word of the year," and it isn't a word at all. "Ism" was given the honor after words like socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism, and terrorism saw high traffic on the dictionary's...

Caitlyn Jenner Inspires 'Word of the Year'

Dictionary.com chooses 'Identity'

(Newser) - Unlike Oxford Dictionaries , Dictionary.com is sticking with an actual word for its 2015 word of the year: "identity." The site unveiled its choice as "the clear front-runner" Tuesday, noting "many of the year's biggest stories focused on the way in which individuals or members...

The 'Word of the Year' Isn't a Word

But it does mean something very expressive

(Newser) - At least it's not an ancient Egyptian pictogram. While this year's Oxford Dictionaries word of the year is not an actual word, it is a popular image: the "face with tears of joy" emoji, Newsweek reports. "You can see how traditional alphabet scripts have been struggling...

Dictionary Names Its Word of the Year

'Binge-watching'

(Newser) - Collins Dictionaries is out with its top 10 words of the year—and its accompanying definitions are pretty amusing. Here's a sampling, with "binge-watch" taking the No. 1 spot:
  • Binge-watch: "To watch a large number of television programs (especially all the shows from one series) in succession"
...

Word of the Year: Culture
 Word of the Year: Culture 

Word of the Year: Culture

Merriam-Webster unveils its choice for 2014

(Newser) - A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster's 2014 word of the year: culture. The word joins Oxford Dictionaries' "vape," a darling of the e-cigarette movement, and "exposure,...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year Is ... Science

Seriously

(Newser) - So, this is kind of weird: Merriam-Webster's word of the year is ... "science." And no, the publisher is not trying to make some sort of point by not choosing a word like, say, "selfie." Rather, it just looked at which words people looked up on...

2013 Word of the Year: Selfie
 2013 Word of the Year: Selfie 

2013 Word of the Year: Selfie

Miley Cyrus and her twerking weren't enough for Oxford Dictionaries

(Newser) - What do the first daughters, Pope Francis, and countless celebs have in common? They all made headlines with selfies in 2013, making it easy for Oxford Dictionaries to choose its annual word of the year . "Selfie" was a rare unanimous decision for the organization, it reports on its blog...

Oxford Dictionary's Word of 2012: GIF

File format beats 'YOLO,' 'superstorm'

(Newser) - The GIF file type for simple animations has been around since the '80s but only now has the Oxford Dictionary decided to make it its American word of the year. GIF—which stands for "graphic interchange format"—"celebrated a lexical milestone in 2012, gaining traction as...

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