With the year winding down, we’re getting lots of different takes on the word of the year. Oxford Dictionaries selecting “goblin mode” as their 2022 word of the year, as well as Merriam Webster choosing "gaslighting" as theirs. Now it’s Dictionary.com’s turn and they’ve picked “woman” for their Word of the Year for 2022.
“Woman” was chosen in part because the typical number of searches for it doubled over the last year, according to the website. John Kelly ,Senior Director of Editorial at Dictionary.com, explains that “woman” and its definition were “both at the center of various consequential moments” around the world over the last 12 months. “From our perspective as observers and recorders of language change, the word ‘woman’ is a prime example of the many gender terms undergoing shifts in how and to whom they’re applied,” he says.
To choose the Word of the Year, Kelly says a word must see “a significant increase in searches” over the last year and “capture the major cultural themes and trends in language that helped define” that time. While selecting a word can be challenging, he says this year it was easy, adding that it was “the swiftest and most decisive” selection they’ve ever had. Other words that made Dictionary.com’s short list for Word of the Year include the Ukraine flag emoji, “inflation,” “quiet quitting,” “democracy” and “Wordle,” which was added to the dictionary in 2022.