In The Tonic Comms Blog

The Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘word of the year’ is always a hot news topic – and if you don’t know what a Youthquake or Milkshake Duck is, the Guardian can enlighten you – but researchers have rubbished the findings.

Reported in The Times, a social data company has analysed use of buzzwords on Twitter over nine years and found that many of those bestowed with ‘word of the year’ titles fall quickly out of favour. This includes simples’, which was heralded worthy of the moniker by Oxford English Dictionary in 2009.

The authors say that while phrases such as ‘youthquake’, ‘big society’ and ‘omnishambles’ might be attention-grabbing, they lack long term relevance to society.

Interestingly, they found that one term has bucked the social media trend – so kudos to ‘selfie’, which apparently has survived and thrived since topping the OED chart in 2013 due to, say the researchers, “the narcissism inherent in all humans”.

At the opposite end of the scale, The Times gives readers a rundown of some of our ‘lost lexicon’ – words that have officially dropped out of use. These include:

  • Slugabed – a lazy person
  • Picaroon – describes a scoundrel
  • Kickshaw – name for a fancy but insubstantial cooked dish, particularly of international origin

As experts in content development, at The Tonic we’re esurient (means hungry – another expression that has reportedly kicked the bucket…) to work with clients who are bovvered (word of the year, 2006) about finding an award-winning agency, comprised of former journalists, who can develop compelling content to meet their business goals.

If that describes you, feel free to get in touch with us. Simples.