And the Collin’s Dictionary Word of the Year Is…

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist


And the Collin’s Dictionary Word of the Year is… (drum roll please) BREXIT. Yep, the word that was on everyone’s lips this summer has officially made it into the English dictionary.

Brexit Named Word of the Year

Brexit noun: the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union

Deemed by lexicographers as ‘politics’ most important contribution to the language for 40 years’, ‘brexit’ has unsurprisingly seen a surge in use this year, and as a result has been named ‘Word of the Year’ by Collins.

The term was first coined back in 2013 and has since increased in use by 3,400% due to the referendum in June. It was added to the print edition of the Collins Dictionary at the beginning of 2016 and Collins has said that an increase in use like this is ‘unheard of’ in all the years it has been monitoring word usage.

“‘Brexit’ is arguably politics’s most important contribution to the English language in over 40 years, since the Watergate scandal gave commentators and comedians the suffix ‘-gate’ to make any incident or scandal infinitely more compelling,”

said Helen Newstead, Collins’s Head of Language Content. She continues:

“Most of this year’s words are used by or relate to the generation born towards the end of the last century. They are the drivers of ‘dude food’, quickest to ‘throw shade’ or ‘mic drop’. They may be referred to by some as the ‘snowflake generation’, but they are the most likely to rail against ‘Brexit’ and ‘Trumpism’. Their contribution to the constant evolution of the English language should not be overlooked.”

Which Other Words Made Collins’ List?

corndogdude food noun: junk food such as hot dogs, burgers etc. considered particularly appealing to men

hygge noun: a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing

JOMO noun acronym: joy of missing out: pleasure gained from enjoying one’s current activities without worrying that other people are having more fun

mic drop noun: a theatrical gesture in which a person drops (or imitates the action of dropping) a hand-held microphone to the ground as the finale to a speech or performance

sharenting noun: the habitual use of social media to share news, images etc. of one’s children

snowflake generation noun: the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations

throw shade verb: to make a public show of contempt for someone or something, often in a subtle or non-verbal manner


uberization noun: the adoption of a business model in which services are offered on demand through direct contact between a customer and supplier, usually via mobile technology

What Word Would You Add to the Dictionary?

If you could add any word to the Collins English dictionary, what would it be? Tweet us @_libertydigital. We’d add ‘proreactive’ which our Marketing Manager, Paul, created meaning to prepare to be reactive in marketing.

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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