2018’s Word of the Year

Wikipedia Commons

Collins Dictionary has selected its Word of the Year 2018. As the inhabitants of Planet Earth become ever more concerned about the environment and its alarming demise, so the words we use to describe all aspects of it — from victims to culprits, scourges to solutions  — rise in frequency and everyday usage. Collins has chosen as 2018’s top dog a common adjective that labels items — mostly made of plastic — which are made to be used once, which are poorly recyclable, and which have a significant negative impact on the environment. Can you guess what the word is?

The Word of the Year is single-useAs Collins explained: “Images of plastic adrift in the most distant oceans, such as straws, bottles and bags, have led to a global campaign to reduce their use. The word has seen a four-fold increase since 2013.”

Single-use beat nine other trendy short-listed words to take its exalted position as word of the year. The other nine words were:

Backstop: A system that will come into effect if no other arrangement is made (noun)

Floss: A dance (performed in the video game Fortnite) in which people twist their hips in one direction while swinging their arms in the opposite direction with the fists closed (noun)

Gaslight: To attempt to manipulate (a person) by continually presenting them with false information until they doubt their sanity (verb)

MeToo: Denoting a cultural movement that seeks to expose and eradicate predatory sexual behaviour, especially in the workplace (adjective)

Plogging: A recreational activity, originating in Sweden, that combines jogging with picking up litter (noun)

VAR: Abbreviation for video assistant referee

Vegan: A person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing, or any other purpose (noun)

Whitewash: To cast a white actor in the role of (a character from a minority ethnic group) or to produce (a film or play) using white actors to play characters from a minority ethnic group (verb)

… and last but not least, Glosso’s favorite:

Gammon: an insult to describe white middle-aged, pro-Brexit supporters; A person, typically male, middle-aged, and white, with reactionary views, especially one who supports the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union — i.e. pro-Brexit supporters, or “leavers”. (noun)



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