Now that 2019 is behind us, we decided to find out what the word of the year was.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word of the year for 2019 was ‘they’
Watch the video to find out more about the word of the year!
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Video credit: Rumble
In their website, they explained why they was chosen as the word of the year:
“Our Word of the Year for 2019 is they. It reflects a surprising fact: even a basic term—a personal pronoun—can rise to the top of our data. Although our lookups are often driven by events in the news, the dictionary is also a primary resource for information about language itself, and the shifting use of they has been the subject of increasing study and commentary in recent years. Lookups for they increased by 313% in 2019 over the previous year.”
People are using the pronoun – they – to include those who identify themselves as binary.
The website also shared some of the most looked up words! Here are the top five:
1 – Quid pro quo
The word came on the heels of President Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after newscasters, pundits, and politicians started throwing the phrase around.
The literal translation from Latin is “something for something” and can be defined as “something given or received for something else.”
2 – Impeach
No surprise here, given what happened to President Trump.
Although often thought of as “to remove from office,” the word describes only a step in the process and not the action of removal from the office itself.
3 – Crawdad
You can thank Delia Owens for this after her first novel “Where the Crawdads Sing” climbed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. After being interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning, searches for “crawdad” skyrocketed.
Crawdad is a term that also refers to crawfish or crayfish and is usually used west of the Appalachians.
4 – Egregious
After a Boeing pilot used the word in October to describe an issue with the 737 MAX planes, searches for “egregious” shot up by 450%.
The word means “conspicuously bad” but strays from its original Latin (egregius) which used to mean “distinguished” or “eminent.”
5 – Clemency
When the governor of Tennessee granted clemency to a woman named Cyntonia Brown who was serving a life sentence, lookups for “clemency” shot up by 9,900%.
In the legal field, clemency means “willingness or ability to moderate the severity of punishment (such as a sentence)” and “an act or instance of mercy, compassion, or forgiveness.”