There have been some obvious choices for the 2017 Word of the Year from Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster. Words we’ve heard lot, related to, gotten absolutely sick of hearing. You won’t get such pedestrian locutions from Oxford Dictionary, the world’s most elite collector of mouth sounds.
While America was considering their complicity and whether or not to register as a card-carrying feminist, folks in the United Kingdom were experiencing a “Youthquake.” This is the word of the year, according to Oxford Dictionary’s press release, which leads us to ask, what dat mean? They’re a dictionary, so they can tell us:
The noun, youthquake, is defined as ‘a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people’.
Oh, it’s not the sound of millennials running to an avocado sale? Haha, I kid. The youth are making seismic waves, in the UK and everywhere, and Youthquake is apparently the word being used in the media to describe what it looks like when young people care enough about what baby boomers are doing to the planet to get out there and vote:
Use of the word has increased five times this year, as compared to 2016. Particularly around the summer’s snap election, which saw a number of conservative seats lost to the Labour Party. Many attributed the change to young people showing up at the polls after the disaster of Brexit. New directions in the world have lead to the resurgence of an old phrase:
In 1965, emerging from a post-war period of tumultuous change, Diana Vreeland, editor-in-chief of Vogue, declared the year of the youthquake.
In an editorial in the Vogue US January edition that year, she wrote: ‘The year’s in its youth, the youth in its year. … More dreamers. More doers. Here. Now. Youthquake 1965.’
Here. Now. Youthquake. Which I keep pronouncing in my head as “youthcake.” Yum.