Consulting editor Ian Brookes said: “Choosing just one word for 2012 didn’t match the pace at which our language is changing, so we selected one popular word to represent each month from the whole range of those submitted.”
Collins’ choices range from January’s “broga” – a new form of yoga specifically for men, or “bros” – to December’s “fiscal cliff”. Gangnam style is picked for November.
”South Korean musician Psy’s catchy song became the most viewed video on YouTube in November with close to a billion views,” said Collins. “It has since spawned many spoofs in countries across the globe.” The phrase will be added to the online dictionary in its next update.
In February, Angelina Jolie’s pose at the Oscars “with her right leg jutting out of her high-slit dress” led to the adoption of a new word, “legbomb”. The word makes Collins’ top 12 list, but its inclusion in the online dictionary is under review, as editors study evidence of its continuing use.
April’s choice of “mummy p*rn”, by contrast, has already made it into the online dictionary, cited as the new name for erotic fiction following the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. Author EL James is unlikely to be happy, however: in a rare interview with the Irish Independent yesterday, she called the phrase “one of the most misogynist things I’ve ever heard in my life”, and “derogatory”.
Following choices of “Eurogeddon”, “Zuckered” – used after the plummet in share price that followed Facebook’s initial public offering, but rejected for inclusion in the dictionary – and “jubilympics”, is November’s pick of “Gangnam style”.
The picks came from among almost 7,400 new word submissions from the general public, after Collins opened its online dictionary up to suggestions in recognition of “how language is constantly evolving through pop culture, events and trends”. Not all will “have the longevity” to be included in the print dictionary, said the publisher, “but their submission to CollinsDictionary.com shows how the site has become a forum to discuss the new words we use to describe current events and trends”.
CollinsDictionary.com words of the year
April: Mummy P*rn.
August: Games makers.
September: 47 per cent.
November: Gangnam Style.
December: Fiscal cliff.