Words of the Year

Can you name the Words (or Phrases) of the Year, as chosen by the American Dialect Society?

1990Insincere political rhetoric, in relation to a broken promise by the President
1991Greatest, as popularized by a Saddam Hussein threat
1992An expression of disagreement, as popularized by 'Wayne's World'
1993The national and international network of computers
1994 (tie)Pertaining to computers and electronic communication
1994 (tie)To change form
1995 (tie)The newly prominent resource on the Internet
1995 (tie)To make aggressive changes as a newcomer
1996A parent; used after words such as 'soccer', 'minivan', and 'waitress'
1997Flaw that causes older computer software to think that the year after 1999 is 1900
1998Hyphenated prefix relating to the Internet, as before 'mail', 'business', and 'commerce'
1999In relation to the anticipated computer flaw due to storing the year as two digits
2000Paper fragment created when a hole is punched in a piece of paper, such as a ballot
2001Numeric date of terrorist attacks against the United States
2002Devices that can kill large numbers of people and/or cause great damage
2003A fashion-conscious heterosexual male
2004A colorful representation of the American political map
2005Colbert's term for the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than those known to be true
2006Demoted or devalued, as happened to a former planet
2007Used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment
2008The rescue by the government of companies on the brink of failure
2009A short message sent via Twitter, or to send such a message
2010A software program for a computer or phone operating system
2011Referring to a protest movement that began in 2011
2012The practice used on Twitter for marking topics or making commentary by means of a hash symbol followed by a word or phrase
2013Introducing a noun, adjective, or other part of speech
2014Hashtag used as protest over Blacks killed at the hands of police (esp. Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in Staten Island).
2015Gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun
2016An exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation
2017Disinformation or falsehoods presented as real news; actual news that is claimed to be untrue
2018Euphemism for government run detention centers for children of asylum seekers
2019Phrase used to indicate which first person noun substitute a person desires to be used in reference to themselves
2020The term for the emergent coronavirus disease that ignited a pandemic
2021A violent uprising against a government or authority
2022A suffix, drawn from a slang term for a cat, that can be added to the end of just about any word
2023Gradual degradation, especially in an online context
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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2024

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