NEW YORK — This will or could not come as a shock: Merriam-Webster’s phrase of the 12 months for 2017 is “feminism.”
Sure, it’s been an enormous 12 months or two or 100 for the phrase. In 2017, lookups for feminism elevated 70 % over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and spiked a number of instances after key occasions, lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, the corporate’s editor at massive, advised The Related Press forward of Tuesday’s annual phrase reveal.
READ MORE: ‘Complicit’ named phrase of the 12 months by Dictionary.com
There was the Girls’s March on Washington in January, together with sister demonstrations across the globe. And heading into the 12 months was Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign and references linking her to white-clad suffragettes, alongside together with her loss to President Donald Trump, who as soon as boasted about grabbing ladies.
WATCH: Girls’s March occasions happen world wide
The “Me Too” motion rose out of Harvey Weinstein’s mud, and different “silence breakers” introduced down wealthy and well-known males of media, politics and the leisure worlds.
Feminism has been in Merriam-Webster’s annual High 10 for the previous few years, together with sharing word-of-the-year honors with different “isms” in 2015. Socialism, fascism, racism, communism, capitalism and terrorism rounded out the bunch. Surreal was the phrase of the 12 months final 12 months.
WATCH: Why was ‘complicit’ named 2017 phrase of the 12 months?
“The phrase feminism was being use in a sort of common manner,” Sokolowski stated by telephone from the corporate’s headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts. “The feminism of this massive protest, but it surely was additionally utilized in a sort of particular manner: What does it imply to be a feminist in 2017? These sorts of questions are the sorts of issues, I feel, that ship folks to the dictionary.”
READ MORE: Gender inequality persists in Canada, across the globe, ballot finds
Feminism’s roots are within the Latin for “lady” and the phrase “feminine,” which dates to 14th century English. Sokolowski needed to look no additional than his firm’s founder, Noah Webster, for the primary dictionary reference, in 1841, which isn’t all that previous within the historical past of English.
READ MORE: Tragic world occasions, Trump election makes ‘surreal’ prime phrase of 2016
“It was a really new phrase at the moment,” Sokolowski stated. “His definition is just not the definition that you simply and I’d perceive at this time. His definition was, ‘The qualities of females,’ so mainly feminism to Noah Webster meant femaleness. We do see proof that the phrase was used within the 19th century in a medical sense, for the bodily traits of a creating teenager, earlier than it was used as a political time period, if you’ll.”
WATCH: Time Journal has revealed the 2017 “particular person of the 12 months”
Webster added the phrase in revisions to his “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” They have been his final. He died in 1843. He additionally added the phrase terrorism that 12 months.
“We had no thought he was the unique dictionary supply of feminism. We don’t have lots of proof of what he was ,” Sokolowski stated.
As we speak, Merriam-Webster defines feminism because the “principle of the political, financial and social equality of the sexes” and “organized actions on behalf of ladies’s rights and pursuits.”
WATCH: A “surreal” alternative for phrase of the 12 months
One other spike for the phrase feminism in 2017 occurred in February, after Kellyanne Conway spoke on the Conservative Political Motion Committee.
“It’s troublesome for me to name myself a feminist within the traditional sense as a result of it appears to be very anti-male and it actually appears to be very pro-abortion. I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion,” she stated. “There’s a person feminism, if you’ll, that you simply make your personal selections. … I have a look at myself as a product of my selections, not a sufferer of my circumstances. And to me, that’s what conservative feminism is all about.”
READ MORE: ‘Xenophobia’ chosen as 2016 phrase of the 12 months by Dictionary.com
She was applauded, and he or she despatched many individuals to their dictionaries, Sokolowski stated. The corporate wouldn’t launch precise lookup numbers.
Different occasions that drew curiosity to the phrase feminism was the favored Hulu collection, “The Handmaid’s Story,” and the blockbuster film, “Surprise Lady,” directed by a girl, Patty Jenkins, Sokolowski stated.
Merriam-Webster had 9 runners-up, in no specific order:
- Complicit, competitor Dictionary.com’s phrase of the 12 months.
- Recuse, in reference to Jeff Periods and the Russia investigation.
- Empathy, which hung excessive all 12 months.
- Dotard, utilized by Kim Jong-un to explain Trump.
- Syzygy, the almost straight-line configuration of three celestial our bodies, such because the solar, moon and earth throughout a photo voltaic or lunar eclipse.
- Gyro, which might be pronounced three other ways, a phenom celebrated in a Jimmy Fallon sketch on “The Tonight Present.”
- Federalism, which Lindsey Graham referred to in discussing the way forward for the Inexpensive Care Act.
- Hurricane, which Sokolowski suspects is as a result of individuals are confused about wind velocity.
- Gaffe, similar to what occurred on the Academy Awards when the fallacious finest image winner was introduced. That was a go-to phrase for the media, Sokolowski stated.