‘Authentic’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year: Tracing top searched words in 2023

    ‘Authentic’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year: Tracing top searched words in 2023

    Merriam-Webster word of the year for 2023 is “authentic”, said Peter Sokolowski, a lexicographer at Merriam Webster. In an interview with the Associated Press, he also revealed other most searched words for the year 2023. “Authentic” follows 2022’s choice of “gaslighting.” And 2023 marks Merriam-Webster’s 20th anniversary choosing a top word, the report said.

    Also read: Year-Ender 2023: 7 New Year resolutions for your personal growth in 2024

    Here are the company’s top words of 2023, in no particular order:

    1. The word ‘indict’ gained ‘most searched’ attention when former President Donald Trump was indicted in March on felony charges. It is defined as ‘formally accuse of or charge with a crime.’
    2. Covenant’ refers to “a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement.” Lookups for this words surged on March 27, following a deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School in Tennessee’s Nashville. Searches for this word also spiked following release of “Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant” and Abraham Verghese’s novel, “The Covenant of Water.”
    3. The word ‘deepfake’ gained popularity recently after Musk’s lawyers in a Tesla lawsuit in April alleged he is often the subject of deepfake videos. It refers to “an image or recording that has been convincingly altered and manipulated to misrepresent someone as doing or saying something that was not actually done or said.” Interest spiked further after the likeness of Ryan Reynolds appeared in an AI-generated fake Tesla ad.
    4. The look ups for the word ‘coronation‘ surged to 15,681% around King Charles III coronation ceremony that took place on May 6, according to Sokolowski. It’s dictionary meaning refers to ‘the act or occasion of crowning.’
    5. Implode’ word gained traction following the June 18 incident of Titan Submersible implosion. This word means ‘to burst inward.’
    6. Deadname‘ witnessed search spikes around the month of July following an onslaught of legislation aimed at curtailing LGBTQ rights. It refers to ‘the name that a transgender person was given at birth and no longer uses upon transitioning.’
    7. Merriam-Webster defines ‘doppelganger’ as a ‘double,’ an ‘alter ego’ or a ‘ghostly counterpart.’ Sokolowski called it “a word lover’s word.” Naomi Klein’s released her latest book on September 12 titled, “Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World,” following which interest in the word grew.
    8. Rizz‘ a slang for ‘romantic appeal or charm.’ This word was added to Merriam-Webster online dictionary in September and has been among one of the the top searched words.
    9. Global climate change drew attention to ‘dystopian.’ It refers to ‘relating to or denoting an imagined state or society where there is great suffering or injustice.’ The United Nations human rights chief, Volker Turk in September said, “We do not need more warnings. The dystopian future is already here. We need urgent action now.”
    10. Search for ‘Kibbutz‘ word also witnessed spike that refers to ‘a communal farm or settlement in Israel.’ The search for this word soared following Hamas attack on October 7.

    Also read: 2023 in Review: A Year of Milestones and Impact for Mint

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