2012 in words - Dictionary company selects the 12 words which define the year
Published 20/12/2012 | 11:15
A DICTIONARY publisher has named "Gangnam Style", "fiscal cliff" and "mummy porn" among its words of the year for 2012.
CollinsDictionary.com selected 12 words, one for each month, which played their part in defining the past year.
The final list - made after members of the public submitted their own suggestions - reflect the top news stories and trends of the year, with events such as the Olympics, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the US election all represented.
South Korean musician Psy's catchy song Gangnam Style was chosen as the word for November, the month in which it became the most-viewed video on YouTube with close to a billion views.
"Fiscal cliff" made it into the list for this month amid talk of the US government facing a sharp decrease in government spending and an increase in taxes that could throw the economy back into recession.
On a similar theme, earlier this year Europe was abuzz with the threat of "Eurogeddon" as the economic situation in the Eurozone worsened. The word made it onto the list for March.
The following month, the 50 Shades of Grey book series was published, bringing a new name for a certain type of erotic fiction - "mummy porn" - into the public consciousness.
The UK's extraordinary summer of events is celebrated with two words on the 2012 list.
"Jubilympics" recalls the month of June, in which Britain was preparing to host the London Olympics and celebrate the Diamond Jubilee while "Games makers", London's vast team of Olympics volunteers, make it on to the list for August.
American politics, showbiz and events also shaped a number of the dictionary's chosen dozen.
During the Oscars in February, actress Angelina Jolie posed with her right leg jutting out of her high-slit dress, spawning the word "legbomb" and leading to many parody images being created.
In May, Facebook launched its initial public offering and its share price plummeted almost immediately after hitting the public market.
The event led to the word "zuckered", named after the social networking site's founder Mark Zuckerberg.
When US presidential candidate Mitt Romney travelled to London in July, his critics branded the visit a "Romneyshambles", a word which also makes it on to the list.
Romney's secretly-taped comment that 47% of Americans would vote for Obama no matter what because they are dependent on the government meant that "47 per cent" became a key phrase of the election and enters the dictionary list for September.
October's word is "superstorm" after Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked havoc in portions of the Caribbean, the mid-Atlantic and the northeastern United States.
The list is completed with January's nominated word, "Broga". The word, formed from the combination of "bro" and yoga, accompanied the launch of a new form of yoga tailored to men.
Each word was submitted by the public to the online dictionary at www.collinsdictionary.com/submission.
Some were published already as a reflection of their frequency, breadth and period of use.
Others are deemed to be candidates, which will be added to the online dictionary at the next site update.
Other words are under review, meaning that evidence of use is continuing to grow and be collected, while some, such as "zuckered", have been rejected, based on the dictionary's criteria for inclusion.
The publisher said not all of their 12 words of the year will have the longevity to be accepted for the Collins print dictionary.
It added, however, that the submissions to CollinsDictionary.com show how the site has become a forum to discuss the new words used to describe current events and trends.
Ian Brookes, consulting editor at Collins, said: "Since we launched the submission feature on CollinsDictionary.com, we have been astounded by how quickly new language trends are formed.
"Choosing just one word for 2012 didn't match the pace at which our language is changing, so we selected one popular word to represent each month from the whole range of those submitted."