Collins Dictionary 2018 words of the year revealed and Ireland's influence is clear to see

Collins Dictionary 2018 words of the year revealed and Ireland's influence is clear to see

THE 2018 word of the year has been revealed by the collective brains behind the scenes at Collins Dictionary.

Experts in all aspects of written language, they had their in-house lexicographers monitor the online Collins Corpus to formulate the top 10 words of the year.

These words often reflect the trends of today as well as the evolving nature of the English language and its everyday meaning.

Back in 2017, Youth-quake emerged as the word of the year, in reference to the growing change being felt as a result of politically-motivated young people.

This time the term "single-use" came out on top, defined as "a term that describes items whose unchecked proliferation are blamed for damaging the environment and affecting the food chain".


Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins, said:

"This has been a year where awareness and often anger over a variety of issues has led to the rise of new words and the revitalisation and adaptation of old ones.

"It’s clear from this year’s Words of the Year list that changes to our language are dictated as much by public concern as they are by sport, politics, and playground fads."

Brexit, which came top in the countdown back in 2016, continues to have an influence with two of the words named in the top 10 derived from the term – backstop, and gammon.

Ireland also had an influence, with the word backstop refering to the situation over on the UK border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The top 10, in full, is as follows:

single-use – adjective: made to be used once only


backstop – noun: a system that will come into effect if no other arrangement is made

floss – noun: a dance in which people twist their hips in one direction while swinging their arms in the opposite direction with the fists closed

gammon – noun: a person, typically male, middle-aged, and white, with reactionary views, especially one who supports the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union

gaslight – verb: to attempt to manipulate (a person) by continually presenting them with false information until they doubt their sanity

MeToo – adjective: denoting a cultural movement that seeks to expose and eradicate predatory sexual behaviour, especially in the workplace

plogging – noun: a recreational activity, originating in Sweden, that combines jogging with picking up litter

VAR – abbreviation for: video assistant referee


vegan – noun: a person who refrains from using any animal product whatever for food, clothing, or any other purpose

whitewash – verb: to cast a white actor in the role of (a character from a minority ethnic group) or to produce (a film or play) using white actors to play characters from a minority ethnic group