Channel 4 and the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017

Imagine the squeals of delight in the fivesquid office last week when we realised we were in for an epic Saturday night. Picture the scene: onesie donned and a cup of hot chocolate in hand (maybe with a little Irish… shh!)… snuggled on the sofa to watch Channel 4 and the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017...it was lit. 
 
Why do we get so excited about new words? As Channel 4 so eloquently put it they “reflect the spirit of the last twelve months”. Think back over the past year, a lot has happened and new words are reflective of those momentous events. They show how society has changed -  a simple word reflects so much; a shift in acceptance or what is now no longer tolerated or ignored, new trends, whole new industries etc - words show our social evolution. Don’t worry we’re not going to get melancholic, there are some words that make you think and some that make you LOL. Our plan is to whiz through the contenders and reveal which word the OED crowned this year. 
 
SPOILER ALERT… if you haven’t watched it and we recommend you do, stop reading now and watch it here - you have until 15 January 2018. If you’re in the office and can’t watch we’ll try to capture the brilliance of the show, here:
 
 

Channel 4 and the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017

 

DATING - this minefield just got even more confusing:

MELT: 
So you’re thinking hot right, so wrong. Melt is actually a dating term when someone is really romantic you may even say soppy. 
 
BREADCRUMBING: 
No digital freelancers, this has nothing to do with websites. Breadcrumbing is in fact leading someone on - a bit of a tease if you catch our drift. 
 
STASHING: 
So harsh and we hope you haven’t done this. When you have found a significant other but you stash them away from your friends - who exactly are you ashamed of?!
 
PHUBBING: 
You snub someone using your phone. An Australian Ad agency coined this word about 5 years ago, but it wasn’t adopted - yep they were phubbed - brutal! It’s only really been picked up in the last year. 
 
HATFISHING: 
If you’re a regular on dating sites you may notice some people always wear hats - ask yourself what are they trying to hide - bad hair or no hair? 
 

GIRL POWER - feminists had a good year…. not so great for the  boys:

MANSPLAINING: 
When a man starts to explain something to a woman that is blinding obvious. Instead of the usual expletive, ladies can now just say stop mansplaining…
 
MANSPREADING: 
We all know this one… legs spread wide open when sitting. No more boys, you'll be called out on this. 
 
SAUSAGE FEST: 
A cheeky one here! A room full of men. 
 
MANFANT:
A fully grown man behaving like a child… 
 
MANEL: 
This is a panel that is made up entirely of men. Whilst we do want to be gender neutral, it’s good to highlight when a panel is exclusively male. 
 
BROFLAKE: 
A man that is easily offended. 
 
HEPEATED: 
We can hear women scream at their screens… this is when a woman makes a suggestion that is ignored, then moments later a man makes the same suggestion which practically gets a standing ovation! 
 

EAU DU TRUMP - all these new words have a distinct whiff of Trump about them (not to be confused with the UK definition of trump!):

KOMPROMAT: 
A word that stemmed from Russia meaning ‘compromising materials’. It came about when Russia claimed to have some documents dishing the dirt on Trump… allegedly.
 
COVFEFE:
No idea, neither does the OED or anyone else that matter. Trump tweeted this word and it’s a word that has no meaning?! 
 
DOTARD: 
Not a new word, in-fact a very old fashioned word to describe someone that is elderly and perhaps going a bit batty … Kim Jong-un used it to describe Trump. 
 
ANTIFA:
A word to describe people who are actively against fascism. 
 
BIGOTOCRACY:
Aimed at politicians who have a lack of reaction to social injustice. This was coined by Trump’s opponents when he was slow to react to racial riots in the US.
 
 
HAPPINESS - we’ll have some of that please:
 
HYGGE:
Hailing from Denmark, when you appreciate the moment you’re in when you’re in it… that moment when you’re utterly content. 
 
LYKKE:
Another Danish marvel, which is the achievement of all round happiness and fulfilment. 
 
LAGOM:
This time we’re in Sweden and they’re a little more measured. This is about having just enough, not too much not too little - the perfect balance - we’re thinking mindfulness. 
 
FIRGUN:
A Hebrew word - you get pleasure from others happiness, acts of selflessness. This should be the sentiment of the festive period. 
 
 
FOOD - but not as you know it:
 
AQUAFABA: 
A dubious replacement for egg whites - the water from a tin of chickpeas. Channel 4 gave meringues made with this the thumbs down on taste, but they looked impressive. 
 
AVOLATTE:
The avocado (avo) craze saw new heights this year with the avolatte, you basically drink a latte out of an avocado skin - each to their own! 
 
UNICORN: 
Food got pretty - why not make your food colourful and sparkly. Unicorn toast anyone? 
 
MERMAID: 
Food got green and blue - I guess it’s one way to get the kids to eat their food. Oh! Not aimed at that kids - our bad! 
 
GENDER - it’s easy to say the wrong thing and the sentiment is that we’re perhaps getting close to not needing titles at all:
 
ENBY: 
Anyone that is non-binary (neither male or non female).
 
MX: 
This says ‘my gender is none of your business and irrelevant’ - it’s in theory not saying anything. 
 
 
RACE - shocking this still needs to have words, we would like to think the world has moved on, at times it feels we’ve gone backwards:
 
WHITE FRAGILITY:
When white people are confronted with racism and their own white privilege (see below).
 
WHITE PRIVILEGE: 
Just what it says, the privileged life, in many cultures, that white people have. Race isn’t a consideration or something that personally impacts them which in itself makes them privileged.  
 
 
SOCIAL / POLITICAL - 2017 has been a momentus year for political and social movements:
 
CULTUREJACKING:
This when brands or people use a cultural event or social movment for their own advancement or monetary gain, we’re not buying it and thanks to social media we’re not going to be quiet about it either. 
 
YOUTHQUAKE:
This is when significant cultural / political or social change arises from the actions or influences of young people. Originally used in the 1960’s when youths started wearing mini skirts, sending a quake through social norms. Today’s youth are doing the same and the term has now stuck and is perhaps the most reflective of 2017 and the power of social media. 
 
MILKSHAKE DUCK:
The fall from grace - a good egg that is in fact a bad egg. 
 
CORBYNISTA: 
Like him or hate him this is a catch all term for all things Corbyn. 
 
MAYBOT: 
One thing you can say about our PM is that she has been consistent, but her ‘Strong and Stable’ mantra has earned her the title of ‘Maybot’
 
 
 
Without further ado ... drum roll please...
 
the winner of...
 
Channel 4 and the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017 is
 YOUTHQUAKE
 
We like it! Youth stand up and take note cause everyone else has - you can make a difference. 
 
 
We think you’ll agree it’s been one hell of a year - who knew a collection of unrelated words could tell us so much about 2017. The power of words cannot be underestimated and we look forward to seeing what new words 2018 brings and the story behind them. 
 
 
 
 
 

Source: Channel 4    OED

 
 
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