Words of the Year Quiz

20111229_0399The publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) generated a sharknado of publicity by proclaiming selfie their Word of the Year for 2013.  Although the Australian term for a photographic self-portrait goes back 20 years, the confluence of camera phones, social media and, some would argue, narcissism shot the word to prominence in the past year.

Merriam-Webster, forgoing novelty in favor of a scientific test, gave the nod to the word with the biggest jump in look-ups on their site: science.

Although there are other contenders, the idea of naming a Word of the Year (WOTY) probably started with American Dialect Society (ADS) in 1990. At their annual meeting in January, members of the society vote for the word best representing the previous year. The word must be new or newly popular that year and reflective of popular discourse.

How well did the ADS do in reflecting the zeitgeist for past years? And how good is your memory? Can you guess the year for these Words of the Year?

1. Bushlips ‘insincere political rhetoric’
     A. 1990  B. 2001 C. 2008
2. Subprime, ‘an adjective used to describe a risky or less than ideal loan, mortgage, or investment’
      A. 2006 B. 2007 C. 2008
3. Millennium bug, also known as Y2K bug or Y2K problem, that causes computers to think that the year after 1999 is 1900.
     A. 1990 B. 1997 C. 1999
4. To be plutoed, ‘to be demoted or devalued like the former planet’
     A. 2004 B. 2006 C. 2008
5. Truthiness, ‘what one wishes to be the truth regardless of the facts’
     A. 2005 B. 2007 C. 2008
6. Metrosexual, ‘fashion-conscious heterosexual male’
    A. 1991 B. 1998 C. 2003
 Take the quiz, then check your answers at the bottom. Forward the quiz to friends, placing the number you got correct out of 6 in the subject line.


1-A, 2-B, 3-B, 4-B, 5-A, 6-C


This entry was posted in English language, Quizes, Word of the Year, words and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Words of the Year Quiz

  1. Anonymous says:

    It was fun to remember the situations when we used these words or phrases. Thanks Judy

  2. Fun to take a little walk down memory lane, Judy. But I can barely remember what year this is!

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