Merriam-Webster revealed on Tuesday that “feminism” is the dictionary’s word of the year, followed by nine other highly searched for terms that were largely driven by the Trump administration: “complicit,” “recuse,” “empathy,” “dotard,” “syzygy,” “gyro,” “federalism,” “hurricane,” and “gaffe.”
According to Webster, look-ups for feminism spiked during news coverage of the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. in response to Trump’s inauguration. Another spike occurred when Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said she didn’t consider herself a feminist, and the term received additional boosts from The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu and Warner Bros.’ release of Wonder Woman.
“Complicit” was also the name of an Ivanka Trump-inspired Saturday Night Live parody that called her complicit in her father’s administration. “Recuse” was linked to Attorney General Jeff Sessions — as in, Sessions said he would recuse himself from any investigations into Hillary Clinton.
As for dotard, North Korean President Kim Jong Un called Trump “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” The term refers to “a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness.”
In non-Trump-related terms, the Oscars gaffe fueled interest in the word earlier this year. As you may recall, announcer Faye Dunaway was given the wrong envelope at the Academy Awards ceremony and accidentally announced La La Land as the winner for Best Picture. The error was quickly rectified and Moonlight was revealed as the intended winner — a gaffe!