What a difference a year can make.
Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Day in 2017 was “youthquake” – defined as a “significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people” – the term rising in popularity after the surge in young voter turnout for the UK’s general election in 2017.
The Oxford Word of the Year – chosen “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year” – for 2018 is “toxic.”
The Oxford Word of the Year 2018 is… pic.twitter.com/DotlZxxJVe
— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) November 14, 2018
“In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics,” Oxford Dictionaries said in the Word of the Year announcement this week on its website. “It is the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title.”
According to the dictionary, there was a 45 per cent rise in the number of times the term was searched for on its website over the last year.
Words searched alongside the term “toxic” give insight into the context in which the word was being used. The top ten joint search terms appear split into two categories: literal, referencing chemical, substance, gas, waste, algae and air; and metaphorical, referencing masculinity, relationship, culture and environment – which could arguable fall into both categories.
Runner-ups for the Word of the Day title include “gaslighting,” “big dick energy,” “techlash,” “incel” and “orbiting.” Also, “gammon,” which Oxford Dictionaries describes as “typically being used in the UK as a derogatory term for an older middle-class white man whose face becomes flushed due to anger when expressing political (typically right-wing) opinions.”
Though 'toxic' took the #OxfordWOTY title, it's by no means the only word that caught our attention this year. Find out about the words that made our shortlist at the Word of the Year hub: https://t.co/ulAkRigNlR pic.twitter.com/itJENyr0JK
— Oxford Dictionaries (@OxfordWords) November 15, 2018
What a year.
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