Macquarie Dictionary


Word of the Year: a look at past winners

Yes, that’s right, as 2020 creeps towards 2021, we at Macquarie Dictionary HQ are gathering our committee of wordsmiths to decide on our Word of the Year (and what a year it has been!)

Last year’s winner cancel culture, still has relevance in 2020 but has been somewhat overshadowed by events since it took out the crown in December. In 2018, Me Too was the Word of the Year, while the infamous milkshake duck was the 2017 choice. 

Each year, Macquarie Dictionary invites you to vote for the People’s Choice Word of the Year on top of our Committee’s Choice. Last year, robodebt was voted as the People’s somewhat controversial choice. We can only imagine what it might be this year.

Only once did the Committee’s and People’s Choices select the same winner. In 2015, everyone agreed that captain’s call was a worthy Word of the Year. Voting for the People’s Choice Word of the Year for 2020 opens in November.

For a preview of words that might make it on to our 75 word longlist, check out our blogs of ‘words to watch’ from throughout the year:

  • January – featuring the controversial Karen generation and poo jogger.
  • February – we take on influencer fraud in our Tassie tuxedos.
  • March – have you been seened
  • April – featuring COVID-19 and the coinciding infodemic.
  • May – stop doomsurfing and put on a nicecore movie.
  • June – grab a dalgona coffee, this one is a thumb stopper.
  • July – join our travel bubble for some astrotourism.
  • August – attain blood harmony, also sky puppies!
  • September – watch out for wolf warriors and snapping handbags.

And remember, there’s still time to submit a new word you think should be considered for Word of the Year, using our ‘suggest a word‘ function.

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