More Culture:

December 10, 2019

Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2019 is 'they'

There was a 313% increase in lookups of the pronoun

Merriam-Webster Words
Merriam-Webster's word of the year is 'they' Photo by Jon Tyson/on Unsplash

Merriam-Webster's 2019 word of the year is 'they.'

Merriam-Webster announced on Tuesday that it has chosen "they" as its 2019 word of the year.

The dictionary shared that lookups for the personal pronoun increased by 313% compared to last year.

RELATED: NATO 'cool kids' bully President Trump on 'Saturday Night Live' cold open | James Bond has a Philadelphia connection that may surprise you

In September, Merriam-Webster added a new definition to its online dictionary to reflect the use of "they" as referring to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary.

That month, British singer Sam Smith announced their preferred pronouns are they/them.

As Merriam-Webster noted in its announcement for word of the year, many followed Smith's lead and it's now increasingly common to see a person's preferred pronouns in Twitter bios, email signatures and on name tags.

Runners-up for the word of the year include "quid pro quo," a phrase that has been repeated in the Donald Trump impeachment hearings, and "crawdad," a word in the title of Delia Owens' best-selling book "Where the Crawdads Sing."

Follow Sinéad & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @sineadpatrice | @thePhillyVoice
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice
Add Sinéad's RSS feed to your feed reader
Have a news tip? Let us know.