Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
And the 2017 winner is… youthquake, according to the Oxford Living Dictionaries (OED).
The OED defines the term youthquake as:
”a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”.
Usage spiked in June 2017, following the UK general election, when youth (the Millenials) turnout, in contrast to class, appeared as the most decisive force behind the labor party’s surge in the poll results. The term youthquake then spread across the globe, referring to major political clout, in such political action as the anti-corruption movement in Russia, and Australia’s call for marriage equality.
However, youthquakes have occurred in the past. The OED tracked the term youthquake back to 1965, in the US, when the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine, Diane Vreeland, used it to qualify a year of sweeping changes centered around protest against the Vietnam war. She wrote:
The year’s in its youth, the youth in its year. Under 24 and over 90,000,000 strong in the US alone. More dreamers. More doers. Here. Now. Youthquake 1965.
The shortlist of potential OED WOTTIES* 2017 is also interesting. Consider fingering the following examples:
- Antifa: defined by the OED as [noun; treated as singular or plural] a political protest movement comprising autonomous groups affiliated by their militant opposition to fascism and other forms of extreme right-wing ideology.
- Broflake: defined by the OED as [derogatory, informal] a man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his more conventional or conservative views.
- Gorpcore: defined by the OED as [derogatory, informal] a man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his more conventional or conservative views.
- Kompromat: defined by the OED as [mass noun] compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes.
- Milkshake Duck: defined by the OED as a person or thing that initially inspires delight on social media but is soon revealed to have a distasteful or repugnant past.
- Newsjacking: defined by the OED as [mass noun; marketing] the practice of taking advantage of current events or news stories in such a way as to promote or advertise one's product or brand.
*WOTTIES: Plural of the acronym WOTY (Word of the Year) . Rhymes with "potties"
Oxford Living Dictionaries Word of the year
Oxford Living Dictionaries – The WOTY shortlist 2017
ANIFA: A word on the rise
On the radar: Broflake
On the radar: Milkshake duck
Kompromat and 8 other Russian words you didn't think you'd need to know