confused

The Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year Is One Nobody Has Ever Heard Of

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.

 

via GIPHY

 

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.

 

graph

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).