THE AMERICAN DIALECT SOCIETY'S WORD OF THE YEAR IS...
The American Dialect Society met last night and voted on the Word of the Year. Our language editor Arika Okrent has the highlights.
- •Word of the Year: They'They' won for overall Word of the Year, not because it's a new word, but because it finally seems to be coming into its own as an accepted gender-neutral singular pronoun. While 'they' has long been used as a pronoun for a person whose gender is unknown, it was chosen as Word of the Year particularly for its role as a pronoun for someone who wishes to avoid a binary gender distinction.
- •Most Unnecessary Word: ManbunOf all the candidates for the Most Unnecessary Word—a field that included 'dadbod,' 'or nah,' 'trigger warning,' and 'thanks Obama'—'manbun' was deemed the least necessary because it may as well just be called a bun.
- •Most Euphemistic: Netflix and ChillDefined as a "sexual come-on masked as a suggestion to watch Netflix and relax," one supporter cited the way its given rise to a while new vocabulary of relationship progression. She had been informed by some of her students that "Netflix and chill" may be followed by "Hulu and commit."
- •Most Likely to Succeed: To GhostThe verb 'to ghost,' meaning "abruptly end a relationship by cutting off communication, especially online" was deemed more likely to succeed than its competitors 'CRISPR' ("gene-editing technology allowing biologists to alter and control DNA sequences"), 'mom' ("admiring term of address for a woman seen as a mother figure"), and the already-tired 'on fleek' ("put together, impeccable, well-arrayed").
- •Least Likely to Succeed: SitbitIf we've got Fitbit, why not 'sitbit,' a device that rewards you for sitting around? This wordplay on the fitness tracking device craze was deemed not likely to stick around.
- •Most Creative: AmmosexualThis coinage for "someone who loves firearms in a fetishistic manner" won out over the verb 'to adult,' meaning behave like a grown up, as in "I just made a dentist appointment, put a roast in the oven, and finished my taxes. I am adulting so hard right now!"