Sunday, December 31, 2017

An end-of-the-year Listicle: New words added in 2017

Zoë Sharp

Derbyshire village in the winter mist.

This year has been an interesting one. For me it's been one of change, with more travelling, yet another house move, and lots of upheaval. But it’s also seen the publication of a new Charlie Fox book, FOX HUNTER, and a plan in place for several new projects in the early part of the New Year. I’m not making any resolutions for 2018, but I see a great deal of scribbling in my immediate future.

One of the many other things that have taken place this year is the addition of new words to the dictionaries. They may have been in use previously, but now they’re official. Here are a few of my favourites. Let me know the ones I’ve missed, or that you particularly like:

Bokeh, meaning ‘the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a shallow depth of field.’

Craptacular, which is something that is especially bad in a highly visible way.

Fake news, meaning a sensational story, reported as fact when it is fiction.

First World problems, which is a minor or trivial problem or frustration (implying a contrast with serious problems such as those that may be experienced in the developing world).

Ghost, meaning ‘to abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.’

Listicle, meaning ‘an article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.’

Microaggression, which is ‘a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group.’ It is usually something that is invisible to the perpetrator, who may be convinced that they do not possess such a biased attitude.

Mumblecore, meaning ‘a genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action.’

Pareidolia, which is ‘the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern’ much like a Rorschach test.

Sausagefest, which is ‘an event or group which is predominantly male.’

Squad goal, meaning someone seen as a role model to a person or group, often used as a hashtag.

That’s it for this year from me. Wishing you Health, Luck and Happiness in 2018!



  1. I feel a bit guilty about it, but I really like Craptacular!
    As for words you've missed, I'm so far behind this stuff that when it was word of the year, I thought a selfie was a selfish person.
    Happy 2018, Zoe!

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry, got half a comment and pressed publish by mistake!

      lol, I think a selfie should probably be a narcissistic person instead, Michael. The people who pose into mirrors with their cellphones at least.

      Happy 2018 to you and yours, also!

  2. Is there a female equivalent to a sausagefest? If not, can we invent one.
    A smartfest? I mean, have you noticed how all those very intelligent, multi tasking voice controlled EPA's like Alexa are all female (ish).

    1. I like smartfest, Caro, although my auto correct has just tried to change it to smartest. Perhaps it knows something we don't? And yes, I had noticed things like Siri and Alexa were female, as is the standard voice on my satnav.

      Reminds me of a great 6 word short story I saw earlier this year:

      'Siri, delete Mum from my contacts.'

      Happy 2018 to you!

    2. I believe the word you're looking for, Caro, is 'breastfest.' Not to be confused with some other places to eat.

  3. I gave my Siri the voice of a man with a British accent. I call him Reggie and like bossing him around. Sometimes though he gets all snobby on me. When I asked him to call the GaRAHGE. He said, “Do you mean the GARage?” I told him to stop being a twit.

    1. lol Annamaria. I understand there's been a bit of uproar caused by Alexa, who eavesdrops on conversations in the home, and then orders half a hundredweight of dogfood based on a snatch of something people said (usually people who don't own a dog). And hey, if you employ a Brit, you're going to have to speak his language to get any sense out of him :))

  4. Zoe, from Annamaria: Brit or not, I say Siri is a man! He takes everything I say very literally. In a situation where a woman would know what I mean and try to help, he does what I am not asking him to do, either misunderstanding or pretending that he doesn’t understand what I really want. If I insist on what I want, he just goes silent. These, I am sure, or masculine behaviors.

  5. Why do I sense that entering into this back and forth commentary would likely risk a few of these new woids being draped about my neck...