Collins dictionary announces its words of the year for 2022

Image of the Lusail Stadium in Qatar. Credit: Google maps - Hamim tube

Collins dictionary has announced its word of the year is “permacrisis” in a year that has seen one crisis after another.

The word announced on Tuesday, November 1 is defined as an extended period of instability and insecurity.”

Collins said the new word was most appropriate at a time when the world seemed to lurch from one crisis to another, whether it is the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis, climate change or the political shenanigans that have been a feature of recent times.

It they said: “Sums up quite succinctly just how truly awful 2022 has been for so many people.”

Other words that have made the list include:

  • Kyiv – a symbol of resistance
  • Partygate – scandals over social gatherings
  • Warm bank – a place where people who can’t afford to heat their homes, go to keep warm
  • Lawfare – strategic use of law to intimidate or hinder an opponent
  • Sportswashing using sports promotion to enhance reputations or distract from controversial activities or policies,
  • Quiet quitting – improving work life balance by only doing the basics
  • Vibe shift – a significant change in the prevailing atmosphere or culture
  • Carolean – the shift from Qeen Elizabeth to King Charles

“Language can be a mirror to what is going on in society and the wider world and this year has thrown up challenge after challenge,” Alex Beecroft, Managing Director of Collins Learning told ITV News.

He continued saying: “It is understandable that people may feel, after living through upheaval caused by Brexit, the pandemic, severe weather, the war in Ukraine, political instability, the energy squeeze and the cost-of-living crisis, that we are living in an ongoing state of uncertainty and worry; “permacrisis” sums up quite succinctly just how truly awful 2022 has been for many people.

 “Our list this year reflects the state of the world right now – not much good news, although, with the determination of the Ukrainian people reflected by the inclusion of “Kyiv”, and the dawn of the new “Carolean” age in the UK, there are rays of hope.”

Collins monitors a range of media sources and their 18 billion word database as it updates their dictionary and in choosing their word of the year. Language they say is ever evolving and it’s important that dictionaries keep up with the changes.  

As always there are many other words people would have chosen as their word of the year particularly given how often the word might be used, but Collins dictionary this year has announced its word of the year as one that most reflects the year.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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