26 words that defined the decade now gone: From mansplaining to 'yes'
10 years ago, how many of the words in Pól Ó Conghaile's A to Z would you have understood?
When you woke on January 1, 2010, 'woke' meant woke.
Ten years later, things have gotten a little more complicated.
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Back then Brian Cowen was Taoiseach, Barrack Obama was US President and you still bought CDs. You hadn't heard of cronuts and hardly anybody made podcasts.
Now, everybody makes podcasts (thanks a lot, Serial).
As the decade went on, phones would become more expensive than TVs; Ireland would discover proper pizza ovens, and our vocabulary would change forever.
We would come to live in a land of Dadbods and Mom jeans; of 'artisan' food and 'craft' drink, of snowflakes, selfies and... yes, President Trump.
Here's an A to Z of the words that have, overnight, become soooo 2010s...
A is for Avo'
Back then, they were just avocados. And largely bypassed in supermarkets.
Runners-up: Alexa; AirPods.
B is for Brexit
No, wait! Don’t go to sleep! This paragraph is only 60 words long, and you’ve read 20 of them already. In 2010, with David Cameron as Prime Minister and a global recovery in full swing, life looked relatively stable. Then came a certain referendum in 2016… and, well, no newspaper has appeared without this word ever since.
Runners-up: binge watch; bromance.
C is for Covfefe
Donald Trump began the decade hosting The Celebrity Apprentice. In 2016 he became the most powerful man on the planet, and started firing Twitter broadsides that upended our lexicon. Covfeve was just the start... the apparent mis-typing of 'coverage' blew up the internet.
Runners-up: cronut; craft beer; cancel culture.
D is for Despacitio
Disoriented yet? Just when you thought this 2017 earworm couldn't get any worse, Justin Bieber chimed in.
Runners-up: duck-face; drone; dab.
E is for Eyjafjallajökull
Still can't pronounce it? The Icelandic volcano wreaked havoc on European air travel in 2010, spewing ash that disrupted some 10 million travellers.
F is for Fortnite
How old are you, buddy?
Runners-up: flexitarian; flygskam.
G is for Glamping
In 2010, if you wanted to camp, you did it in a tent. Now, you can 'glamp' your little heart out with everything from real beds to goose-down duvets and en suite loos. You snowflake.
Runner-up: to ghost.
H is for Hygge
OK, Scandinavia, we get it. You are better at EVERYTHING. Back in 2016/17, this take on cosiness ruled the world... and was less guilt-inducing than flygskam ('flight-shame').
Runners-up: hipster; humblebrag.
I is for Instagram
Instagram launched officially on October 6, 2010. Its influencers have gone on to leave no corner of the world un-influenced. Sigh.
Runners-up: iPad; influencer.
J is for JOMO
The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) was already a thing on January 1, 2010. But it took several years of screens to bring us full circle to the Joy Of Missing Out.
K is for KeepCup
In the 2010s, the world woke up to a climate emergency (but continued polluting at pace anyway). At a consumer level, no single product highlighted the new no-no on single-use plastics like the KeepCup.
M is for Mansplaining
In 2010, men explained and women listened. In the brave new world of 2020, 'mansplaining' has been outed for what it is... as has manspreading. Needless to say, both continue unchecked.
Runners-up: #MeToo; manbun; meme.
N is for Netflix
How did we live without streaming? Today, we binge on TV whenever and wherever we damn well want (I'm looking at you, toilet).
O is for Overtourism:
Tourism grew at pace; super-popular destinations, not so much. A problem presented, with Venice, Dubrovnik, Barcelona and Santorini to the fore.
Runner-up: Storm Ophelia.
P is for Photobomb
Just ask Shane Ross.
Runners-up: poké bowls; podcasts.
Q is for Queer-Eye
The Fab Five could have been just another fluffy makeover show, but it seized on a cynicism-backlash to spark joy (sorry, Marie Kondo) in living rooms all over the world. Hello, self-care.
R is for Refudiate
Before Donald Trump, there was Sarah Palin.
S is for Selfie
A step forward, or back, in human evolution? History will be the judge, but a decade was all it took to turn us into a species of duck-facing idiots. The Oxford English Dictionary's 2013 Word of the Year.
Runners-up: shade; snowflake.
T is for Twerk
After Dads killed the dab, they got to work on twerking - hitting dancefloors all over the world to wrestle this trend to a painful death. Go Dads!
Runner-up: tablet; troll.
U is for Uber
In 2010, we just took taxis. How innocent life seemed!
V is for Vaping
Just say no, kids.
Runners-up: vegan; viral.
W is for Westeros
In one of the all-time great decades for TV, Game of Thrones was the show that ruled them all, introducing fans to a whole new universe of dragons, Direwolves, Dothrakis and... erm, Ed Sheeran. That ending, though?
Runners-up: WhatsApp; Wild Atlantic Way; wellness; woke.
X is for X-Men
Do they even make blockbusters without superheroes any more?
Y is for Yes
Two referendums brought resounding 'Yes' votes to the nation in the 2010s; on same-sex marriage in 2015 and abortion in 2018. Who would have thought it?
Z is for Gen Z
Our last hope? The generation born after 1995 is predicted to become the world's most influential in the decade ahead. Can Greta and Co finally save our planet?
We'll let you know on January 1, 2030.