Tags: youthquake | word of the year | oxford

'Youthquake' Is Word of the Year for Oxford Dictionaries

'Youthquake' Is Word of the Year for Oxford Dictionaries
(Oxford Dictionaries)

By    |   Friday, 15 December 2017 01:26 PM

"Youthquake" is Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, gaining traction during elections that sparked a groundswell youth engagement.

The noun is defined by as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people," according to CNN.

The term was originally coined by 1960s Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, who used it to describe the influence that Britain's youth had on pop culture, but it really caught on this year during the U.K.'s summer elections.

According to The Guardian, 2017 saw a 401 percent increase in the use of the word and was spurred on by the millennial generation's unexpected drive for political change.

The term was selected from a shortlist of 10 words that included "Antifa," a word used to refer to anti-fascist groups in the U.S, "broflake" which is a stereotypical label given to men easily angered by progressive social attitudes, and "unicorn," which is often used to describe glittery drinks and food, The Mirror said.

Katherine Connor Martin, the head of Oxford's new words program, said "Youthquake" was a term that had a neat symmetry.

"It originally referred to changes in fashion caused by baby boomers coming of age," she said, per The New York Times. "Now, we're seeing it emerge in an electoral politics context, as millennials displace the baby boomers."

Martin explained that the Oxford's Word of the Year is meant to reflect social and political issues while highlighting how language changes over time.

Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Dictionaries, noted that although "Youthquake" was an unusual word to be dubbed as word of the year, "it is a rare political word that sounds a hopeful note."

Angus Stevenson, the head of content development for Oxford Dictionaries, agreed.

"We also felt it struck a more positive note than some of the other words on the shortlist," Stevenson told CNN. "It's great to have a word we can rally behind."

The term has gained even more momentum after news that it has been named as Oxford's official word of the year broke, with people taking to social media to put the word to use.

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"Youthquake" is Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year, gaining traction during elections that sparked a groundswell youth engagement.
youthquake, word of the year, oxford
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2017-26-15
Friday, 15 December 2017 01:26 PM
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