Macquarie Dictionary Blog
Words of the Year around the world for 2018
Nov 09, 2018
Every year at Macquarie Dictionary HQ, we gather a few key people together to review all the new words from the previous 12 months, longlist them, narrow them down even further and decide on a single word that represents the year gone by, also known as our Word of the Year. For 2017, that word was milkshake duck. In 2016, the ubiquitous and politically-charged, fake news took the honour.
We draw these words from a pool that has been selected, researched and added to the Macquarie Dictionary during the year. This means all our candidates are bona fide new words. Unlike other dictionaries, we don't look at words that may have re-entered common usage, but only select from new words and definitions that have been coined throughout the year gone by.
We will be announcing our Word of the Year in January 2019, but other dictionaries have already starting naming their words that define 2018.
- The Collins Dictionary Word of the Year is single-use. Other notable words were plogging and whitewash, both of which have featured in Macquarie Dictionary's words to watch blog series. Plogging in June this year, and whitewash back in 2016. According to Collins:
[Single-use] has seen a four-fold increase since 2013, with news stories and images such as those seen in the BBC’s Blue Planet II steeply raising public awareness of the issue.
- The Word of the Year from dictionary.com is misinformation. Runners-up were self-made, representation and backlash. On the selection of this word and its involvement with social media, they had this to say:
While the word misinformation has been around since the late 1500s, the nature of how information spreads has gone through drastic transformations over the last decade with the rise of social media. For most individuals on social media, fact-checking is an afterthought, if it is a thought at all, and misinformation thrives.
- The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year 2018 is toxic. Other words on their shortlist included gaslighting, which we added in 2017, incel and big dick energy. From the Oxford Dictionary site:
In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics. 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.
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