24 January 2018

Words of 2017

What were some of the most used and significant words of 2017? This week, a look at what dictionaries chose this year and a discussion on the evolution and changing meanings of words in the English language.

Guest: Anatoly Liberman, Professor of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota


  • Part 1 – 12:20

    Prominent dictionaries like Merriam-Webster, Oxford, Collins and dictionary.com have released their words of the year for 2017. These words include feminism, youthquake, fake news and complicit. Will these words become important fixtures in English or are they a snapshot of passing fads?

  • Part 2 – 14:08

    The term “fake news” was notable this year for how quickly and drastically the meaning changed. What started as a description of intentionally misleading news came to describe any news someone disagreed with. “Language changes because so many people use it,” Liberman says.