American Dialect Society 2016 Words of the Year

POSTED BY MARTIN KICH

POLITICAL WORD OF THE YEAR

deplorables (basket of): epithet used by Clinton in speech about Trump supporters

nasty woman: epithet used by Trump addressing Clinton in final presidential debate

Pantsuit Nation: popular Facebook group for Clinton supporters

post-truth: belonging to a time in which facts matter less than beliefs and emotions

unpresidented: erroneous version of unprecedented in a tweet by Trump

 

DIGITAL WORD OF THE YEAR

fam: one’s crew, squad, circle of friends, etc.

Harambe: gorilla killed at Cincinnati Zoo, launching numerous tributes and memes

tweetstorm: series of connected tweets about a particular subject, often a passionate rant

@: (verb) reply on Twitter using the @ symbol

 

SLANG WORD OF THE YEAR

fire: (adj.) cool, fun, stylish

receipts: proof (as in “show me the receipts”)

slay: succeed, be excellent or amazing

woke: socially aware or enlightened

 

MOST USEFUL/LIKELY TO SUCCEED

chip: (verb) insert a bank card into an electronic chip reader (as opposed to swipe)

gaslight: psychologically manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity

normalize: render normal that which was previously deemed beyond acceptable bounds

turn up: get excited, have fun, enjoy oneself

 

MOST CREATIVE

-exit: combining form relating to departure, after Brexit (CalexitTexitBrangelexit)

facticide: killing or distortion of facts

gynotician: politician seen as interfering with women’s healthcare

laissez-fairydust: magical effect brought upon by laissez-faire economics

 

EUPHEMISM OF THE YEAR

alt-right: umbrella term for extremist racial ideologies including white nationalism and white supremacy

fake news: misinformation, hoaxes, and propaganda, especially as spread on social media sites to boost web traffic

locker-room banter: lewd, vulgar talk (used by Trump to downplay Access Hollywood tape)

small/tiny hands: jab at hand size implying other anatomical deficiencies

 

WTF WORD OF THE YEAR

bigly: in a significant manner (from widespread mishearing of Trump’s use of big-league)

cuck, cuckservative: derisive term for mainstream Republicans by alt-right

pussy: term for female genitalia used by Trump in Access Hollywood tape

yuuuge: dialect pronunciation of huge used by Trump and Bernie Sanders

 

HASHTAG OF THE YEAR

#blackgirlmagic: celebration of black women and their achievements

#NoDAPL: protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

#OscarsSoWhite: criticism of Academy Award nominees’ lack of diversity

#pussygrabsback: rallying cry responding to Trump’s “pussy” remark

 

EMOJI OF THE YEAR

raising hands (celebration, praise)

raised fist (fist pump, solidarity)

upside-down face (silliness, sarcasm, irony)

fire (“lit,” exciting)

 

WORD OF THE YEAR

dumpster fire: an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation

Runners-Up:

woke: socially aware or enlightened

normalize: treat as if normal that which was previously deemed beyond acceptable bounds

post-truth: belonging to a time in which facts matter less than beliefs and emotions

#NoDAPL: hashtag protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline

fire emoji: used as a general superlative

 

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