Every year, the Collins English Dictionary comes up with a list of new and notable words after sifting through their own database as well as a range of other media and social-media sources.
They’ve just released a list of ten words that represent the wild ride that was 2022, with six of them new entries in the dictionary. The list is meant to reflect the state of the world today. ‘Permacrisis’ tops the list, with the dictionary defining the word as an ‘extended period of instability and insecurity’.
Sound familiar? Given the tornado of economic turmoil, political instability, energy crisis, war, climate emergency and, well, everything else that’s happened this year, it seems suitable to sum them up with a single word. Collins apparently chose the word because it succinctly summarises ‘how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people’. No shit.
Also making the list was:
‘Partygate’: referring to the Downing Street social-gathering scandal during the pandemic.
‘Kyiv’: the name of the Ukrainian capital, after the city became a symbol of Ukraine’s stance against Russian aggression.
‘Warm bank’: a building, like a public library or place of worship, that opens its doors over winter to provide a space for people struggling to heat their homes during the cost-of-energy crisis.
‘Quiet quitting’: the practice of doing basic tasks at work but no more than the bare minimum.
‘Vibe shift’: meaning a ‘significant change in the prevailing atmosphere or culture’.
‘Carolean’: referring to the new monarchical era, following the end of the second Elizabethan age in 2022 and the accession of King Charles.
‘Lawfare’: the strategic use of legal proceedings to intimidate or hinder an opponent.
‘Splooting’: usually referring to an animal, such as a cat, dog or cow, ‘splooting’ is the act of lying flat on the stomach on a cool surface with legs stretched out, to counter unusually high temperatures.
‘Sportswashing’: the use of sports activities by organisations and/or countries to enhance their reputations or distract from intolerable policies.