Collins Dictionary has selected permacrisis as Collins Word of the Year 2022 (for English). Collins defines it as ‘an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events’.
This is one of 10 words Collins highlights. They all relate to continuing crises faced by the UK and the world. The crises include political instability, the war in Ukraine, climate change, and the cost-of-living crisis.
Here are the other 9 words, with their Collins definitions:
- Carolean: Of or relating to Charles III of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or his reign.
For comments on how other languages are referring to the new King Charles III, please see https://languagemiscellany.com/2022/11/kral-karel
- Kyiv: The capital of Ukraine, on the Dnipro River.
- Lawfare: The strategic use of legal proceedings to intimidate or hinder an opponent.
- Partygate: A political scandal over social gatherings held in British government offices during 2020 and 2021 in defiance of the public health restrictions that prevailed at the time.
- Quiet quitting: (1) The practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obliged to do, especially in order to spend more time on personal activities
(2) The practice of doing little or no work while being present at one’s place of employment.
- Splooting: The act of lying flat on the stomach with the legs stretched out.
- Sportswashing: The sponsorship or promotion of sporting events in order to enhance a tarnished reputation or distract attention from a controversial activity.
- Vibe shift: A significant change in a prevailing cultural atmosphere or trend.
- Warm bank: A heated building where people who cannot afford to heat their own homes may go.
On Carolean, Collins notes that:
- Carolean, like its near synonyms Caroline and Carolinian, also has a second meaning: ‘of or relating to Charles I or Charles II, kings of England, Scotland, and Ireland, the society over which they ruled, or their government’.
- Carolean sometimes refers specifically to the reign of Charles II. On the other hand, Caroline and Carolinian sometimes refer specifically to the reign of Charles II.
More on the Collins Word of the Year 2022
The Collins web site contains cartoons illustrating each of the 10 words. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/woty
Some of the definitions in the cartoons are slightly shorter than the full definitions. I have included above the full definitions, available from https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english
The page with the cartoons says that 6 of the 10 words—including permacrisis are new to the Collins Dictionary. I haven’t found anything saying which 6 of the words are new.
A blogpost on the Collins site discusses the 10 words https://blog.collinsdictionary.com/language-lovers/a-year-of-permacrisis/
Words of past years
Collins isn’t the only publisher of English dictionaries that proclaims a word of the year. The Oxford English Dictionary also does this. The BBC web site lists the words of the year selected by Collins and by Oxford English Dictionary for each year from 2013 to 2020: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-59089596
For a post about the Anglicism of the year in German for 2019, please see https://languagemiscellany.com/2021/12/unenglish-anglicism
For a look back at new words of 1986 selected by the Guardian newspaper, please see https://languagemiscellany.com/2021/10/new-words-of-1986
Other words of 2022
To see the shortlist for Oxford Word of 2022, please see https://languagemiscellany.com/2022/11/vote-for-oxford-word-of-2022