Here’s a quick roundup of candidates for and discussion of the 2015 Word of the Year, which the American Dialect Society has been voting on since 1990. All previous winners are listed here.
Our criteria for words of the year are that the words be as many of the following as possible:
- It is demonstrably new or newly popular in the year in question.
- It was widely and/or prominently used in the year in question.
- It is indicative or reflective of popular discourse or preoccupations.
- It is not a peeve or a complaint about overuse or misuse.
- It is a single word, phrase, compound, hashtag, catch phrase, or other lexicalized form.
- It is not a name or proper noun. See the American Name Society‘s annual vote for those.
THE CANDIDATES SO FAR
— Ben Zimmer, editor of the “Among the New Words” column for the society’s journal American Speech, and the chair of the society’s New Words Committee.
- Vocabulary.com: “The Year in Words 2015: One Pronoun to Rule Them All?”.
- NPR: “From #Squadgoals To Schlonged, Contenders For 2015’s Word Of The Year”.
- WBEZ: “The race for the 2015 Word of the Year”.
- WNYC: “‘Unicorn,’ ‘Surge,’ and More Notable Words of 2015”
— Nancy Friedman, a professional name developer. “Words of the Year 2015: Fritinancy Edition”
— Anne Curzan, University of Michigan professor in the departments of English and linguistics. Michigan Radio: “Words of the Year with Anne Curzan.”
— Lexicon Valley, a Slate podcast, featuring dictionary editors from Oxford University Press, Merriam-Webster, and Dictionary.com. “Tears of Joy, Identity, and a Prism of Isms.”
— David Barnhart, lexicographer. “What Will Be Picked for WOTY 2015?”
— Emmett Lee Dickinson Museum: “What will be the 2015 Word of the Year?“