Oxford Dictionaries said watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparked international debate, landing the term “toxic masculinity” in public consciousness. (Canadian Press file photo)

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

What a difference a year can make.

Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Day in 2017 was “youthquake” – defined as a “significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people” – the term rising in popularity after the surge in young voter turnout for the UK’s general election in 2017.

For 2018?

The Oxford Word of the Year – chosen “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year” – for 2018 is “toxic.”

“In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics,” Oxford Dictionaries said in the Word of the Year announcement this week on its website. “It is the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, that made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title.”

According to the dictionary, there was a 45 per cent rise in the number of times the term was searched for on its website over the last year.

RELATED: Victoria boy still trying to add levidrome to dictionary

RELATED: 2017 word of the year: Feminism

Words searched alongside the term “toxic” give insight into the context in which the word was being used. The top ten joint search terms appear split into two categories: literal, referencing chemical, substance, gas, waste, algae and air; and metaphorical, referencing masculinity, relationship, culture and environment – which could arguable fall into both categories.

Runner-ups for the Word of the Day title include “gaslighting,” “big dick energy,” “techlash,” “incel” and “orbiting.” Also, “gammon,” which Oxford Dictionaries describes as “typically being used in the UK as a derogatory term for an older middle-class white man whose face becomes flushed due to anger when expressing political (typically right-wing) opinions.”

What a year.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

School District 70 proposes new school names, asks for public feedback

Board of education suggests new names for the district and two of its schools

Washout brings delays to drivers heading in and out of Tofino-Ucluelet

West Coast commuters are facing delays Tuesday morning.

Ucluelet’s Royal Marine Search and Rescue team seeking new recruits

“We’re on call for anything and everything on the water.”

Five rescued after boat crashes between Tofino and Ahousaht

“Ahousaht has always been a willing participant to save anyone who is in distress in our territory.”

Search continues for missing Tofino dog allegedly taken by tourists

Shannon Boothman fears Itska has been taken off Vancouver Island after sighting at Nanaimo ferry.

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

CN Rail strike and lack of trucking alternatives stoke forest industry fears

Companies calling on the federal government to ‘do everything in its power’ to end the strike

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland

B.C. mom, kids on bike turned away from Tim Hortons drive-thru

Car-free for years, Charity Millar ‘felt gross’ being denied service

B.C. woman puts call out for 10,000 personal, heartfelt Christmas cards for the homeless

Christmas Card Collective enters into third year of making spirits bright

Most Read