We binge-watched revenge porn while leaning in and snacking on cronuts. We took a break from being selfie-absorbed (not to mention shelfie-, welfie-, and lelfie-) to cheer Batkid and jeer Glassholes. We ducked out of Thanksgivukkah dinner to vape our e-cigarettes. We worried about drones that spied on our metadata. Wow. Such doge!
It was the silliest of years, it was the most serious of years. And our favorite words expressed all the mood swings.
To compile my Words of the Year list, I followed the American Dialect Society's criteria for selection:
- new or newly popular in 2013
- widely or prominently used in 2013
- indicative or reflective of the popular discourse.
My submissions to the ADS vote, to be held in Minneapolis on January 3:
Word of the year: Obamacare.
Most useful: Binge-watching.
Most likely to succeed: Selfie.
Least likely to succeed: Thanksgivukkah.
Euphemism of the year. Slimdown, Fox News happy-talk for the Republican-led government shutdown that lasted more than two weeks in October. The euphemism was picked up by the Associated Press.
Most creative: Cronut and its many derivatives.
Most outrageous: Revenge porn.
Most unnecessary: Shmeat.
And here’s my full list, which emphasizes words from my beat, the language of commerce. In some cases, I’ve linked to Word of the Week posts previously published here.