Merriam-Webster doesn’t usually reveal their World of the Year until the end of November. But Collins Dictionary in the U.K. just announced theirs, and it kind of sums up the last FEW years pretty well.
Their Word of the Year for 2022 is . . .
Permacrisis: an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events.
They say it perfectly captures the sense of jumping from, quote, “one unprecedented event to another, as we wonder bleakly what new horrors might be around the corner.”
Geez. Some real stiff-upper-lip, inspiring stuff, eh?
The pandemic and the war in Ukraine and the two main examples they give. But there’s also the energy crisis, the economic crisis, and the fact that they’ve had three different prime ministers this year.
Here are a few more words and terms that made their shortlist . . .
Quiet quitting: “the practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obliged to do”
Splooting: “the act of lying flat on the stomach with the legs stretched out.” It’s what squirrels and other animals do during heatwaves.
Sportswashing: “to sponsor or promote sporting events in order to distract attention from a controversial activity or reputation.” That’s a reference to Saudi Arabia creating the LIV Golf league.
Partygate: The term used after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was caught partying while covid lockdowns were in place.
Carolean (care-uh-LEE-an): “of or relating to Charles the Third or his reign.” While King Charles is on the throne, it’s the “Carolean era.” Before the Queen died in September, it was the “New Elizabethan era.”