Oxford Dictionaries Reveals 2018 Word of The Year and it’s Toxic. Really.

Shara Mae Balce
PUBLISHED November 23, 2018 04:37 pm
Art by Dani Elevazo

Too high, can't come down. Losin' my head, spinnin' 'round and 'round. Do you feel me now?

It's the most wonderful time to cue in Britney Spear’s 2003 hit song, the Oxford Dictionaries revealed “toxic” as the 2018 Word of the Year.

The Oxford Dictionaries annually chooses a Word of the Year as a word or expression that is determined based on the reflected cultural moments of 2018.

The trusted authority on English language picked “toxic” saying that “the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, made toxic the stand-out choice for the title.”

Here is its textbook definition:


It has its roots in the lethal poison used by the ancient Greeks to spread over the points of their arrows which is called toxikon pharmakon.

“Toxic,” moreover, is picked to mirror “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations” of 2018 which is also considered to define the year’s cultural significance.

According to the publisher’s website of the Oxford Dictionaries, “toxic” has taken the “realm of metaphor” as it has been used by people to describe workplaces, cultures, stress, schools, and relationships. Case in point:

Oxford’s data also shows that along with the 45% increase in mostly searched words in oxforddictionaries.com, the word “toxic” has been habitually used “both in its literal and more metaphorical senses.”

Now, should we need a detox after this? Or maybe we should keep that Toxic song playing as we read through other words that made it Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year 2018 shortlist:

Big Dick Energy (BDE)

An attitude of understated and casual confidence

Gaslighting verb

The action of manipulating someone by psychological means into accepting a false depiction of
reality or doubting their own sanity.

Orbiting verb
Orbiting is the action of abruptly withdrawing from direct communication with someone while still monitoring, and sometimes responding to, their activity on social media.

See the complete list of the words that made it to the list here.




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