“Youthquake”, defined as “a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people”, has been selected by Oxford Dictionaries as the 2017 word of the year.
In the past, words of the year have usually been new words which have been added to the Oxford Dictionaries for the first time. However, “youthquake” was coined in the 1960s by Vogue editor Diana Vreeland to explain how youth culture was transforming fashion and music.
In 2017, the usage of the word has quadrupled, and is now mainly being used to describe the leading role of the millennial generation in driving political change.
According to president of the Oxford Dictionaries Casper Grathwohl, “youthquake” was selected partly as a result of its linguistic interest and the increase in its usage, and partly because in an era of political disillusionment, it represents hope.
Other words shortlisted include “antifa” (a political protest movement in opposition to fascism), “broflake” (a man who is upset or offended by progressive attitudes) and “kompromat” (compromising information collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes).