NEW YORK (AP) – This will or might not come as a shock: Merriam-Webster’s phrase of the yr for 2017 is “feminism.”
Sure, it has been an enormous yr or two or one hundred for the phrase. In 2017, lookups for feminism elevated 70 % over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and spiked a number of occasions after key occasions, lexicographer Peter Sokolowski, the corporate’s editor at giant, informed The Related Press forward of Tuesday’s annual phrase reveal.
There was the Ladies’s March on Washington in January, together with sister demonstrations across the globe. And heading into the yr was Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential marketing campaign and references linking her to white-clad suffragettes, alongside together with her loss to President Donald Trump, who as soon as boasted about grabbing ladies.
The “Me Too” motion rose out of Harvey Weinstein’s mud, and different “silence breakers” introduced down wealthy and well-known males of media, politics and the leisure worlds.
Feminism has been in Merriam-Webster’s annual Prime 10 for the previous few years, together with sharing phrase-of-the-yr honors with different “isms” in 2015. Socialism, fascism, racism, communism, capitalism and terrorism rounded out the bunch. Surreal was the phrase of the yr final yr.
“The phrase feminism was being use in a type of basic means,” Sokolowski stated by telephone from the corporate’s headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts. “The feminism of this huge protest, nevertheless it was additionally utilized in a type of particular approach: What does it imply to be a feminist in 2017? These sorts of questions are the sorts of issues, I feel, that ship individuals to the dictionary.”
Feminism’s roots are within the Latin for “lady” and the phrase “feminine,” which dates to 14th century English. Sokolowski needed to look no additional than his firm’s founder, Noah Webster, for the primary dictionary reference, in 1841, which is not all that previous within the historical past of English.
“It was a really new phrase at the moment,” Sokolowski stated. “His definition just isn’t the definition that you simply and I might perceive at present. His definition was, ‘The qualities of females,’ so principally feminism to Noah Webster meant femaleness. We do see proof that the phrase was used within the nineteenth century in a medical sense, for the bodily traits of a creating teenager, earlier than it was used as a political time period, if you’ll.”
Webster added the phrase in revisions to his “An American Dictionary of the English Language.” They have been his final. He died in 1843. He additionally added the phrase terrorism that yr.
“We had no concept he was the unique dictionary supply of feminism. We do not have plenty of proof of what he was taking a look at,” Sokolowski stated.
At present, Merriam-Webster defines feminism because the “concept…