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Nominations for 2018 Word of the Year posted

January 4th, 2019 § Comments Off on Nominations for 2018 Word of the Year posted § permalink

Nominations for the 2018 word of the year have been posted. The final vote will be held at 5 p.m. EST, Friday, January 4th, at the Sheraton Times Square Hotel in New York City, Empire Ballroom.

You can still make nominations in person when the final vote will be taken. Nominations should be some or all of the following: widely used, new or newly popular, significant to the happenings of 2018, indicative of public discourse and national preoccupations in 2018. Single words, phrases, compounds, catch phrases, hashtags, emoji, and other types of brief written or spoken communication are accepted as nominations.

American Dialect Society 2018 Words of the Year

NOMINATIONS to be voted on by the American Dialect Society, Jan. 4, 2019, New York, NY


  • blue wave: major Democratic electoral gain
  • caravan: procession of Central American asylum seekers to US/Mexico border
  • lodestar: guiding principle (used in op/ed by anonymous White House staffer)
  • nationalist: displaying a staunch belief in one’s own nation (used by Trump and supporters)
  • (the) wall: proposed barrier along the US/Mexico border to prevent illegal crossings


  • blackfishing: pretending to be black on social media by using makeup and hair products
  • deepfake: realistic digitally composed video used to misrepresent someone
  • demonetize: remove ads from a YouTube channel to deprive the creator of revenue
  • finsta: fake Instagram account
  • techlash: backlash against tech innovators


  • big dick energy: calm, unassuming attitude
  • canceled: firmly rejected or dismissed
  • mood, big mood: strong emotion of agreement
  • weird flex but OK: rejoinder to improper boast
  • yeet: indication of surprise or excitement


  • himpathy: flow of sympathy away from female victims toward their male victimizers
  • orbiting: ending communication with someone while still monitoring them on social media
  • preferred pronoun: pronoun that a person opts to use for himself/herself/themself/etc.
  • situationship: undefined personal relationship
  • Voldemorting: avoiding mention of unpleasant person or topic by using a replacement term


  • cli-fi: science fiction relating to climate change
  • climate grief: negative feelings caused by climate-change-related weather events
  • hothouse Earth: runaway global warming
  • single-use: to be used once and destroyed


  • girther: person skeptical of the president’s reported weight and height
  • procrasti-: related to procrastination
  • today years old: indication that someone has just recently learned something
  • treasonweasel: epithet for a traitorous person
  • white caller crime: white people calling police on black people for doing mundane things


  • executive time: presidential down-time
  • Individual 1: pseudonym for Trump in documents from the Mueller investigation
  • racially charged: circumlocution for “racist”
  • tender-age camp/shelter/facility: government detention center for asylum-seekers’ children


  • emotional support peacock: therapy animal that airline passenger tried to bring on board
  • incel: involuntary celibate (online subculture)
  • shithole countries: Trump’s epithet for places he does not want to accept immigrants from
  • soy boy: term for a man perceived as not conforming to male gender stereotypes


  • #neveragain: call for gun-control measures after the Parkland shooting
  • #nottheonion: reporting something true that seems like satire from The Onion
  • #thankunext: expressing gratitude and readiness to move on (from Ariana Grande)
  • #timesup: movement protesting sexual assault


  • 🦞: lobster (adopted by trans community)
  • 💅: nail polish (indicating air of nonchalance)
  • 🤦: facepalm (indicating exasperation, disbelief)
  • 🤔: thinking face (indicating bemused pondering)


Nominations to be made at final meeting.

Call for Papers for 2019 American Dialect Society Annual Meeting in New York City, January 3-6

April 19th, 2018 § Comments Off on Call for Papers for 2019 American Dialect Society Annual Meeting in New York City, January 3-6 § permalink

From Thursday, January 3, through Sunday, January 6, 2019, the American Dialect Society will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of America at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City.

Monday, August 13, is the deadline for proposals for 20-minute presentations. Abstracts of no more than 500 words will be submitted, reviewed, and processed for ADS2019 via the EasyChair system using the following website:

Three important notes about submitting through EasyChair, especially if you’ve never done it before:

  1. Because EasyChair publishes conference proceedings, you’ll see the option to upload a complete paper — just ignore that option.
  2. EasyChair is based in England and its clock keeps Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), so submissions will close automatically at 23:59 GMT, which is not a North American end of the day; we recommend submitting your abstract on or before August 12, because the system will not accept late submissions.
  3. The system will not allow you to upload an abstract longer than 500 words, including title, references, etc.; if the system won’t accept your submission, check to see if you’ve inadvertently exceeded the word limit.

Proposals will be judged anonymously by a team of American Dialect Society members. If your proposal is accepted, you’ll be asked for an abstract of no more than 100 words for the LSA program guide.

This year a poster session will again be available. If you prefer to present at a poster rather than a 20-minute paper, please say so with your proposal.

Presenters must be current members of the American Dialect Society. Membership is inexpensive! You may join here.

Do not send the same proposal to both the American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America. We also discourage submissions that have been presented at the previous NWAV conference.

New: The Roger Shuy Best Paper of the Year in American Speech Award.

This award honors the best paper to appear in the American Dialect Society’s journal American Speech in the previous year.

The selection criteria for the award will be based on some or all of the following: research excellence, exemplification of the mission of the journal, depth and thoroughness of the analysis, innovation, style, anticipated impact, and social relevance.

The recipient of the award will be decided by a committee consisting of the society’s president, its past president, the editor of American Speech, and the managing editor and associate editor of the journal’s pedagogical section.

The award has been funded by Professor Roger Shuy and will be called the Roger Shuy Best Paper in American Speech of the Year Award. The honor will include $100 to be presented by Professor Shuy at the annual ADS luncheon.

Panels: This year, the program will include the biennial panel on teaching American speech. If you are interested in participating, please contact Anne Curzan at Abstracts of contributions to the panel will be reviewed individually, similar to the 20-minute presentations.

Last January, the ADS Executive Committee agreed on the following policy regarding panels (besides the teaching panel): Going forward, only especially timely panels will be considered for the programs of annual meetings. If you have questions about the policy or would like to propose an especially timely panel, please contact Michael Adams at

Audio-visual equipment: An LCD projector with sound will be available for all presentations, along with a microphone. If you will need other equipment, please say so when you send your proposal.

Scheduling: The meeting will follow this general schedule. A more detailed schedule will be posted in the fall.

Thursday, January 3: Executive Council and annual business meeting in afternoon. Program session in late afternoon, followed by Word of the Year nominations.

Friday, January 4: Program sessions in early morning and all afternoon. Poster session in late morning. Words of the Year vote and Bring-Your-Own-Book reception in early evening.

Saturday, January 5: Program sessions in morning and afternoon; Annual Luncheon in between. Luncheon speaker: Sali Tagliamonte, University of Toronto and President, American Dialect Society, on “Doing Dialectology in the 21st Century.”

Sunday, January 6: Program sessions in morning.

Session chairs: If you’re interested in chairing a session, contact Michael Adams at

Travel grants for students: Six travel grants of $500 each will be awarded to students whose papers have been chosen for the program. Furthermore, all students who are members of ADS are invited to attend the annual luncheon for free.

Travel grant for ADS member: The seventh annual Audrey Duckert Memorial Travel Award of $500 to attend the Annual Meeting will be given to an ADS member. The recipient will be chosen by ADS President Sali Tagliamonte. Applications in the form of a letter to President Tagliamonte will be due after the program for the Annual Meeting has been determined. Audrey Duckert was a long-time member of ADS and co-founder of the Dictionary of American Regional English.

Hotel and registration: ADS members will be eligible to reserve rooms and register for the meeting at LSA member rates. For details see the website

Future LSA-ADS meeting: 2020: Jan. 2-5, Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

WOTY: As we have done for a quarter of a century, we will choose candidates for Word of the Year on Thursday and vote for our WOTY the next day, with our Bring-Your-Own-Book exhibit and reception immediately following. Nominations for Words of the Year can be submitted all year long to or on Twitter @americandialect.

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