Since 1990, the American Dialect Society has selected words of the year to highlight language change and to bring a few aspects of the study of linguistics to the public’s attention. The lighthearted vote is held each year at the time of the society’s annual conference. This vote for 2023 Word of the Year will be held at the Times Square Sheraton Hotel in New York City in conjunction with the 2024 annual meetings of the American Dialect Society and the Linguistic Society of America.
In advance of this (in)auspicious proceeding, we are once again fielding nominations from across the lexically inclined world and beyond. Below, please give your nomination for an overall word of the year. Although this is certainly not required, we’ve also left space for you to tell us a little about this word or provide rationale for your choice (this information helps us organize nominees into ballot categories).
We know it is hard to choose one word overall, so you may submit up to three top choices or upload a list. And don’t worry, you can fill out this survey as many times as you’d like throughout the year as new words form!
Some guidelines for making nominations:
- We are most interested in WOTY nominations which reflect your personal experience of 2023.
- For the sake of the WOTY vote, “word” is broadly defined to include multiword phrases, compounds, idiomatic expressions, and even emoji that behave like single lexical items.
- Nominated words do not have to be absolutely brand new but they should have reached some kind of peak in 2023. Ideal WOTY nominations are words which demonstrate widespread usage by a large number of people, in a variety of contexts and situations, and/or which reflect important events, people, places, ideas, or preoccupations of language users in 2023.
- Some illustrative examples of past winners include she as Word of the Millennium 2000; YouTube (as a verb) as Most Likely to Succeed 2006; the combining and nominalized forms of Occupy- as WOTY 2011; yeet as Informal WOTY 2018; and Before Times as Most Useful WOTY 2020.
For a list of all past Word of the Year nominees and winners in various categories, click here.