Now Accepting 2021 Words-of-the-Year Nominations

The New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society is now accepting words-of-the-year nominations for 2021.

Nominations can be sent by email to or @americandialect on Twitter.

Since 1990, the society has selected words of the year to highlight language change, to bring a few aspects of the study of linguistics to the public’s attention, and to have a little bit of fun. The lighthearted vote is held each year at the time of the society’s annual convention.

This year’s vote will be held at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.,

In addition to making nominations beforehand, all are welcome to attend the nominating session and to suggest candidates on Thursday, January 6, from 6:15–7:15 PM. Check the conference schedule for the room assignment.

The final vote, also open to all comers, will be held Friday, January 7, at 5–6 p.m. Check the conference schedule for the room assignment.

The best word-of-the-year nominations are those words that show widespread usage by a large number of people in a variety of contexts and situations, and which reflect important events, people, places, ideas, or preoccupations of English-speakers in North America in 2021.

Nominated words do not have to be absolutely brand new but they should have risen to prominence or reached some kind of peak of popularity in 2021.

For the sake of the vote, “word” is broadly defined to include multiword phrases, compounds, and idiomatic expressions that behave like single lexical items.

All previous years’ winners are listed here.