Like the Air in Delhi, Oxford’s Word of The Year is ‘Toxic’


Yes, you read that right.

Oxford Dictionaries has chosen ‘toxic’ as the "Word of the Year," a video posted on the Dictionary's twitter page said.

Toxic, an adjective defined as ‘poisonous’, first appeared in the English language in the mid-seventeenth century. It is derived from the medieval Latin term ‘toxicus’, meaning ‘poisoned’ or ‘imbued with poison’.

Why Was It Chosen As Word Of The Year?

In 2018, Toxic became the stand-out choice for the sheer scope of its application, Oxford dictionaries said.

The search for ‘toxic’ on recorded a 45% rise over the last year, research data by Oxford dictionaries showed.

According to the data, the word toxic was used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses.

From the toxic chemical used in the nerve agent poisoning of a former Russian intelligence officer to the toxic air of New Delhi; from the toxic politics in the times of Trump and Brexit to the more personal, toxic work environments and relationships – the word, it is evident, is almost everywhere. It’s no wonder people across the world helped the 150-year-old British publisher choose this word.

The Oxford Word of the Year is normally chosen on the basis of ethos, mood, or the preoccupations of the passing year, with the word having a lasting potential as a term of cultural significance, the dictionary said.

Cakeism, Gaslighting, Gammon and Techlash were among the other words shortlisted for the annual title this year.

In 2017, Oxford named ‘Youthquake’ as the word of the year, reasoning its choice after a surge of young voters in the UK general elections, and the mobilisation of youngsters in politics across the world.