Apparently dictionaries announcing the word of the year is a thing and, to be honest, I’ve been getting a kick out of them. Collins English Dictionary said the 2017 word of year is “fake news”; Dictionary.com said it’s “complicit”; Merriam-Webster said it was “feminism.” This tradition is pretty entertaining, especially when a dictionary chooses a word that sparks deep confusion amongst pretty much everyone.
This year, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) had everyone scratching their head when they announced that the word of the year is…“youthquake.”
Literally me. | via GIPHY
If you have no idea what the hell a “youthquake” is or why it sounds dirty, then the good news is you’re not alone. If you know exactly what it is, then the better news is that you, my friend, are a rarity. You are truly a special, unique person.
According to the OED, the word refers to “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”
While the definition itself sounds pretty cool (though completely unexpected), the word itself sounds somewhat bizarre.
According to the OED, “youthquake” was chosen as a result of its growing popularity and usage in 2017 compared to 2016. And while I personally have never heard anyone use it, it’s allegedly used frequently. This is according to the OED.
Image Via OED
Apparently the significance of “youthquake” is related to the culture in the UK and the recent political elections that occurred there. You can click here for more on that. I suppose their explanation makes much more sense, though I’m curious if the word is really used in conversation in the UK (if you live in the UK please comment on whether or not you or someone you know has ever used the word even once or ironically or uttered something that sounded remotely similar to “youthquake”).
Naturally, many took to Twitter to express their ultimate confusion over the OED’s chosen word and it is absolutely the highlight of the day. And, who knows, maybe “youthquake” will become a thing…not (as the youths say).
— Jason Murdock (@Jason_A_Murdock) December 15, 2017
— Parker (@panoparker) December 15, 2017
— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) December 15, 2017
Just read that Oxford dictionaries named #Youthquake as their word of the year for 2017.
I read a large selection of news every day for my job. Number of times I’ve read Youthquake… Once. Today.
I think word of the year should be #The. It’s still largely ignored but popular.
— Catboy – Dubai 92 (@Catboy92) December 15, 2017
— Elizabeth Bananuka (@ebananuka) December 15, 2017
So, “Youthquake” is Oxford English Dictionaries word of the year. Never heard it being said, no idea what it means…must have missed the memo on this one #youthquake
— Sacha Lord (@Sacha_whp) December 15, 2017
Apart from in relation to a Dead or Alive album, I haven’t hear anyone say #youthquake. Which year is this the word of?
— Oonagh (@Okeating) December 15, 2017
Featured image courtesy of Craig Bachman Jr (LinkedIn)