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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Contributed)
test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health launches online booking for COVID-19 tests

Testing is available to anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms

Mainroad Communications warns of coming weather event.
Mainroad Communications notifies drivers of snowfall event over next 24 hours

It’s that time of year again. A weather event is heading to… Continue reading

Cranbrook's Casey Hanemayer reaches a rating of 1022, jumping up 17 points and becoming the highest ranked player in Canada. Paul Rodgers file.
Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer becomes Canada’s highest-rated disc golfer

Cranbrook’s Casey Hanemayer has become Canada’s highest ranked disc golfer, after the… Continue reading

Salvador delivers donated sand for Scout sandbag sales. Photo submitted
Support Kimberley Scouts; buy a sandbag

Salvador Ready Mix is delivering several loads of bedding sand to Resker… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Volunteer registered nurse Stephanie Hamilton recieves a swab from a driver as she works at a Covid-19 testing site in the parking lot at Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
13 more COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

There are 624 cases in the region since the start of the pandemic

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

Most Read