Youthquake: Word of the Year 2017

Danny Woods
December 17, 2017

OD said youthquake's usage "increased 401 per cent" in the past 12 months, as politicised millennials had sizeable impacts on the British, New Zealand and French general elections.

"Youthquake" has been named as the word of the year, and it refers to Labour's ability to rally up thousands of youngsters to support Jeremy Corbyn ahead of June's election - which saw the Conservatives losing their parliamentary majority.

The 2017 Word of the Year has been announced by Oxford Dictionaries and it's...

Even Casper Grathwohl, the publisher's president of dictionaries, admitted it was "not an obvious choice".

While some mocked the winning word, others pointed out that "youthquake" was the title of a 1985 album from British pop group Dead or Alive. According to Vanity Fair, former Vogue editor Diana Vreeland first introduced the term to mainstream audiences over 50 years ago, writing "The year's in its youth, the youth in its year.More dreamers".

While it's certainly a terminology #TBT, "youthquake" means "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people".

This year's buzzwords appear to be rather politically minded, with most words relating to left wing political movements.

We chose youthquake for a variety of reasons - not least because it has an interesting lexical formation and history.

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"At a time when our language is reflecting a deepening unrest and exhausted nerves, it is a rare political word that sounds a hopeful note". "It feels like the right note on which to end a hard and divisive year".

Social media was also included on the list with "Milkshake Duck" referring to something that "initially inspires delight on social media but is soon revealed to have a distasteful or repugnant past".

A style of dress made from materials used in outdoor-wear and functional clothing.

Kompromat - compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes.

Unicorn - denoting something, especially an item of food or drink, that is dyed in rainbow colours, decorated with glitter, etc.

Coined in 2011 by U.S. academic Robin DiAngelo, white fragility reached the mainstream this year as debate about the subject reached fever pitch.

It was popularised during the United Kingdom general election.

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