The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is selected by the editorial staff. Although the word does not have to have been created within the 12-month time, it needs to have been used significantly and have become prominent within that year.
For the first time ever, the word of the year is not a word, but an emoji. Yes, you read that correctly. An emoji. The word of the year is officially a pictograph called the ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ emoji😂. This was the ‘word’ that best reflected the “ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015.”
This year, Oxford University Press partnered with the mobile technology business, Swiftkey, to explore the most widely used emoji in the world. From its statistics, the 😂 emoji was most used globally.
It made up of 20% of all emojis used in the UK and 17% in the U.S.
Along with the word of the year, there is also a list of words that have gained popularity within the year. Oxford Dictionary calls it “the shortlist.” For 2015, eight words made it to the short list. Here they are with their definitions:
ad blocker, noun: A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.
Brexit, noun: A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from British + exit.
Dark Web, noun: The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.
on fleek, adjectival phrase: Extremely good, attractive, or stylish.
lumbersexual, noun: A young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and check shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle.
refugee, noun: A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
sharing economy, noun: An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either for free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.
they (singular), pronoun: Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex.
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