Fake news is the American Dialect Society’s word of the year for 2017


The American Dialect Society has been choosing a word of the year for more than a century. This year, the members voted fake news the word of the year.

The American Dialect Society has been choosing a word of the year for more than a century; its members have voted that for 2017, fake news was the word of the year.

To be completely pedantic, fake news is a phrase, but hey, even the society itself is open to those:

"Nominations should be some or all of the following: widely used, new or newly popular, significant to the happenings of 2017, indicative of public discourse and national preoccupations in 2017. Single words, phrases, compounds, catch phrases, hashtags, emoji, and other types of brief written or spoken communication are accepted as nominations."

For contrast, Dictionary.com made complicit its word of the year for 2017 back in November.

Dumpster fire was the very apt word of the year for 2016.

Alternative Facts was voted the euphemism of the year, winning the category over avocado toast, problematic and Internet freedom.

#MeToo, a hashtag started by Tarana Burke and popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, was voted the hashtag of the year in an overwhelming majority. Burke spoke to Glamour magazine about what needs to happen post-hashtag.

Take a knee, which references Colin Kaepernick’s controversial and moving form of protest during pre-game performances of the national anthem for NFL games, won the Political Word of the Year category. Other options were antifa, short for anti-fascists; dotard, which was removed after audience members noted that it was ableist and disrespectful to disabled people; and persisterhood, a portmanteau of persist and sisterhood that takes the reader back to Elizabeth Warren being silenced during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing.

Woman with a hijab or head scarf was voted the Emoji of the Year.

Wypipo, which is a “humorous phonetic spelling of “white people” used to flag white privilege or absurdity,” won slang word of the year.

Broflake was voted the most creative word of the year, defined as a “man or boy who lacks resilience or coping skills in the face of disagreements or setbacks.”

There are a lot of other winners for 2017 as well, including a most creative and most useful category.

Next: 15 celebrities who got political in 2017

What was your word of the year for 2017?