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