The Committee's Choice Word of the Year 2018 is...

Jan 15, 2019
None

Every year at Macquarie Dictionary, we gather a few key people together to review all the new words from the previous 12 months, longlist them, narrow them down even further and decide on a single word that represents the year gone by, also known as our Word of the Year. For 2017, that word was milkshake duck. In 2016, the ubiquitous and politically-charged, fake news took the honour.

After this is announced, we collate a vote by you for the People's Choice. For 2017, you chose framily. And in 2016, the delicious halal snack pack.

Committee's Choice Word of the Year

Our Committee's Choice Word of the Year 2018 is Me Too! You can listen to our podcast of the Committee meeting that decided on Me Too as the Word of the Year for 2018 in episode 25 of our podcast, Word for Word. The official statement from this year's Committee:

While the Me Too movement took off in 2017 with #MeToo, it has definitely maintained its momentum, and in 2018 it started to spread its linguistic wings beyond the hashtag and the name of the movement, answering an obvious need in the discourse surrounding this social upheaval. So, the fact that Me Too is now being used as a verb and as an adjective, combined with the undeniable significance of the movement, made the Committee’s choice for Word of the Year 2018 a fairly straightforward decision.

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - me too - of or relating to an accusation of sexual harassment or sexual assault, especially as having occurred at some time in the past and which has since remained undisclosed.

Committee's Choice Word of the Year Honourable Mentions

Of the fifteen words chosen as a shortlist from a 75-word longlist (!), this year's committee chose three to give honourable mentions to. The first of these is BDE, also known as big dick energy. Included with this are deepfake and single-use.

The expression big dick energy was apparently coined after the 2018 death of food writer/doco maker, Anthony Bourdain, in an attempt to encapsulate his easy confidence. The Committee gave the abbreviation BDE  an honourable mention for its meteoric rise in popularity, as well as its adaptability –  a woman is just as likely to have BDE as a man. And big dick energy is starting to spawn other big . . . energy expressions, such as big legend energy.

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - BDE (big dick energy) a sense of self-confidence, unaccompanied by arrogance or conceit.  

The deepfake is a real sign of our times. Incredible advances in artificial intelligence have enabled the creation of remarkably accurate likenesses, and social media has enabled the lightning speed with which these videos are spread. Suddenly the deepfake is something that we all should be taking into account when we try to sort out the fake from the real in the news we are fed.

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - deepfake - a video of a computer-generated likeness of an individual, created using deep learning without the individual’s knowledge, often for the purpose of misinformation, vindictiveness, or satire. 

The Committee felt that single-use has taken off partly because it refers to the cause of an environmental crisis that individuals have the power to directly counter in our everyday lives, unlike the death of the Great Barrier Reef, for example. In 2018 in Australia, we have had the big supermarkets getting rid of single-use plastic bags, and the ABC’s War on Waste  has ensured we feel a level of guilt if we don’t present our barista with a keep cup.

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - single-use - intended for disposal after only one use.

Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year 2018 Shortlist

Read on below, or you can download the Committee's Choice shortlist as a PDF. For the more adventurous, you can peruse all 75 words in the longlist that our Committee whittled down to just the below 15 words.

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - ab crack - a well-defined concave line on the body which runs vertically through the centre of the abdomen. Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - algorithmic bias - prejudice built into a computer algorithm which reflects the bias of the humans who carried out the programming and data selection which were used to create the algorithm. 

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - BDE (big dick energy) a sense of self-confidence, unaccompanied by arrogance or conceit.  Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - CRISPR - a technology which enables editing of a genome by adding, removing, or altering a section of DNA sequence; potentially able to correct genetic defects, treat diseases, etc. 

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - dark kitchen - a commercial kitchen in which the food made is to fill orders placed through a food delivery app or website, the kitchen not being attached to a restaurant. Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - deepfake - a video of a computer-generated likeness of an individual, created using deep learning without the individual’s knowledge, often for the purpose of misinformation, vindictiveness, or satire. 

 Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - earthing - the practice of physically connecting to the earth in the form of bare skin contact, as by walking barefoot on grass, sand or soil, the contact thought to reset or stabilise the natural electrical currents of the body, and thus improve health.   Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - HODL - to keep (cryptocurrency) instead of trading or selling.  

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - hygge - the practice of creating an environment of cosiness, which, in turn, fosters feelings of contentment and wellbeing. Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - incel - a man who believes that he is entitled to have sex with women but is not attractive to them, often because of his sexist attitudes and crass behaviour, and who blames his situation on society at large, particularly feminism. 

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - intimacy coordinator - a person appointed in a film, television or stage production to supervise and sometimes choreograph scenes containing nudity or sexual activity, the role intended to protect the actor or actors involved, especially from sexual harassment.  Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - me too - of or relating to an accusation of sexual harassment or sexual assault, especially as having occurred at some time in the past and which has since remained undisclosed. 

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - single-use - intended for disposal after only one use. Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - VAR - a person who reviews video footage of an on-field incident that resulted in a referee decision, the review being passed back to the referee who holds ultimate responsibility for maintaining or reversing their initial decision. 

Image of Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year - vertical farming - the practice of farming food in vertically inclined layers or stacked structures, such as indoors or along the sides of buildings, designed to reduce the water and space demands of traditional agriculture.


Join the discussion!

2 Comments

Please sign in to post a comment. Not a member? Join Macquarie Dictionary today!


tania - May 5, 2019, 5:41 a.m.

This is the most bizarre and interesting thing I have read this year.


* Enter your name:

* Enter your comment:


 
Macquarie Dictionary Admin - May 6, 2019, 2:46 p.m.

We're glad you enjoyed it, Tania!
Macquarie Dictionary


* Enter your name:

* Enter your comment: