Macquarie Dictionary Blog
The Committee's Choice Word of the Year 2018 is...
Jan 15, 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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