American Dialect Society Word of the Year (ADS WOTY)

The American Dialect Society (ADS) has decided upon its Word of the Year for 2016 and that word is dumpster fire, meaning “an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation.” The term was commonly heard in reference to last year’s presidential election. It won in a run-off vote against woke, an African-American slang term that has been making its way into white speech meaning “socially aware or enlightened.” The full ADS press release is here.

Other nominees for WOTY were normalize, post-truth (which was the Oxford Dictionaries WOTY), the hashtag #NoDAPL used in protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, and , the fire emoji used as superlative.

The ADS also votes on words in various categories.

Political WOTY: post-truth.

Digital WOTY: tweetstorm, a series of connected tweets about a single subject.

Slang WOTY: woke.

Most Useful/Likely to Succeed: gaslight, to psychological manipulate a person by making them question their sanity; gaslight is a well-established term that has come into wider use over the past year and was presumably chosen as “useful” rather than “most likely to succeed” (since it has already succeeded).

Most Creative: laissez-fairydust, magical effect brought on by laissez-faire economic policies.

Euphemism of the Year: locker-room banter, a reference to Donald Trump’s “grab her by the pussy” comment.

WTF WOTY: bigly, meaning “in a significant manner,” taken from Trump’s pronunciation of big league.

Hashtag of the Year: #NoDAPL.

Emoji of the Year: .

Concurrently but in a separate session, the American Name Society selected Aleppo as the Name of the Year for 2016.

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