Oxford Dictionaries named “youthquake” its word of the year for 2017, it announced on Friday.
A noun defined as “a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people,” the word was honored as a reflection of the character of the past year. It also has the potential “as a word of cultural significance,” the publisher, Oxford University Press, said in a statement.
The term is used frequently, particularly in Britain, to denote the influence of young voters in British elections and of young people’s shaping of cultural phenomena. It was also picked up by politicians and observers of New Zealand’s general election in September.
The annual choice follows that of Dictionary.com’s selection, in November, of the word “complicit” as its word of the year. Merriam-Webster, a reference book publisher based in the United States, named “feminism” its word of the year on Dec. 12.
The word “youthquake” was coined in 1965 by Vogue magazine, a variation on “earthquake,” in a headline, “The year’s in its youth, the youth in its year…More doers. More dreamers. Here. Now. Youthquake 1965.”
“Youthquake” follows “emoji,” in 2015, and “post-truth,” in 2016, as Oxford’s word of the year. It beat out “antifa,” “broflake,” newsjacking” and “unicorn,” among other finalists in 2017.
By Ed Adamczyk