CULTURE The kids are all right: ‘Youthquake' is Oxford word of 2017

CULTURE

The kids are all right: ‘Youthquake' is Oxford word of 2017

03:58, December 17, 2017


Oxford Dictionaries is recognizing the power of the millennial generation with its 2017 word of the year: youthquake. Photo: AP

Oxford Dictionaries recognized the power of the millennial generation Friday with its 2017 word of the year : youthquake.

Oxford lexicographers say there was a fivefold increase in use of the term between 2016 and 2017.

It is defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”

The word, coined almost 50 years ago by then-Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, has been used to describe phenomena including surging youth support for Britain’s Labour Party and the election of 30-something leaders in France and New Zealand.

Each year, Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that reflects the annual mood.

Oxford Dictionaries president Casper Grathwohl said youthquake has “yet to land firmly on American soil, but strong evidence in the U.K. calls it out as a word on the move.”

Runners-up included broflake — a man who is readily upset or offended by progressive attitudes that conflict with his views— and kompromat, a Russian term for compromising information collected for political leverage.

Oxford Dictionaries consultant Susie Dent said many of the year’s standout words “speak to fractured times of mistrust and frustration.”

“In ‘youthquake’ we find some hope in the power to change things, and had a little bit of linguistic fun along the way,” she said. “It feels like the right note on which to end a difficult and divisive year.”

Last year’s word of the year was “post-truth.”


Related Stories

Terms of Service & Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy to comply with the latest laws and regulations. The updated policy explains the mechanism of how we collect and treat your personal data. You can learn more about the rights you have by reading our terms of service. Please read them carefully. By clicking AGREE, you indicate that you have read and agreed to our privacy policies

Agree and continue