2012 Word of the Year

Every year a new word is chosen by the Oxford University Press US and UK lexicographers, and the words this year are….

‘gif’ – to create an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event

from the US, and from the UK:

‘omnishambles’ – a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, and is characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations

The shortlist for the UK word of the year was:

  • Mommy porn (noun) – thanks Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Games Maker – apparently Olympics inspired, but we think Hunger Games inspired.
  • Medal (verb) – to win a medal.
  • Eurogedden (noun) – the potential financial collapse of the European Union
  • Green-on-blue (phrase) – a military term for an attack made on one’s own side by forces regarded as neutral
  • Pleb (noun) – latin “the common people”
  • Second Screening (noun) – watching TV and using a smartphone, tablet, laptop etc to read about the program being watched, or to make a comment about the program being watched on social media.
  • Mobot (noun) – a characteristic gesture as performed by the British long-distance runner Mo Farah on winning the 5,000 and 10,000 metres events at the 2012 Olympics (guess you had to be there…)
  • YOLO (acronym) – you only live once
While the US shortlist was:
  • Eurogeddon
  • Super PAC (noun) – a type of independent political action committee which may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals but is not permitted to contribute to or coordinate directly with parties or candidates
  • Superstorm (noun) – a really big and destructive storm
  • Nomophobia (noun) – anxiety about being without your mobile phone [from no and mo(bile) + phobia]
  • Higgs boson (noun) – a subatomic particle whose existence is predicted by the theory that unified the weak and electromagnetic interactions
  • YOLO
  • MOOC – (acronym) massive open online course; a university course offered free of charge via the internet
READ  Happy 500th blog post to us!
For more info about the Word of the Year head to the OUP Blog.
 Is your word of the year one of the shortlisted words, or would you vote for something else?




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