'Dumpster Fire' Is 2016's Word Of The Year

Posted: Updated:
Print

The American Dialect Society (ADS) has succinctly summed up 2016 with its pick for word of the year — "dumpster fire."

The organization voted on Friday at its annual convention in Austin, Texas, for the term, which beat out others including "woke," "normalize," "post-truth" and "#NoDAPL."

"As a metaphor for a situation that is out of control or poorly handled, dumpster fire came into prominence in 2016, very frequently in the context of the U.S. presidential campaign," the organization wrote in a release.

ADS — which is made up of linguists, etymologists, historians, academics and writers — started the tradition of choosing words of the year in 1990.

“As 2016 unfolded, many people latched on to dumpster fire as a colorful, evocative expression to verbalize their feelings that the year was shaping up to be a catastrophic one,” said Ben Zimmer, chair of the society's New Words Committee, said in a release.

The term became so popular in 2016, that the AP Style Guide changed its rules to accommodate writers and editors wishing to use it.

Other picks for word of the year seemed to run in a similar vein.

Oxford Dictonaries chose "post-truth" after the term became a "mainstay in political commentary." Merriam-Webster went with "surreal," and Dictionary.com picked "xenophobia."

Here is the full list of winners from ADS:

Word Of The Year:
dumpster fire: an exceedingly disastrous or chaotic situation.

Political Word Of The Year:
post-truth: belonging to a time in which facts matter less than beliefs and emotions.

Digital Word Of The Year:
@: (verb) reply on Twitter using the @ symbol.

Slang Word Of The Year:
woke: socially aware or enlightened.

Most Useful/Most Likely To Succeed:
gaslight: psychologically manipulate a person into questioning their own sanity.

Most Creative:
laissez-fairydust: magical effect brought upon by laissez-faire economics.

Euphemism Of The Year:
locker-room banter: lewd, vulgar talk (used by Donald Trump to downplay a leaked Access Hollywood tape), euphemizing discourse about harassment of and aggression toward women.

WTF Word Of The Year:
bigly: in a significant manner (from widespread mishearing of Trump’s use of big-league).

Hashtag Of The Year:
#NoDAPL: protest against construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Emoji Of The Year:
🔥 fire (“lit,” exciting); also used in 🗑 🔥: dumpster fire

Follow The Huffington Post Canada on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Slang Words 2016
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction