Cambridge Dictionary Names ‘homer’ Word of the Year 2022
From the University of Cambridge:
The Cambridge Dictionary has revealed its word of the year for 2022 as “homer”. Editors have credited disgruntled Wordle players whose winning streak was ended by the unfamiliar American English term.
Homer, an informal American English word for a home run in baseball, was searched for nearly 75,000 times on the Cambridge Dictionary website during the first week of May when it was an answer in the online five-letter word puzzle.
It became the dictionary’s highest-spiking word of the year, and editors said five-letter Wordle answers dominated searches this year as the game became a global phenomenon.
Tellingly, 95% of searches for homer were from outside North America as baffled Wordle players turned to the Cambridge Dictionary to find out what it meant.
Some speakers of British English expressed frustration on social media about the choice of “homer” as the Wordle answer for 5th May. But many players would have been rewarded for demonstrating Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2021: perseverance.
Searches for Wordle’s five-letter words on the Cambridge Dictionary website squeezed out other high-interest words that reflected current affairs.
These included oligarch, likely triggered by new international sanctions and geopolitical shifts amid Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Ableist spiked during the controversy over the use of an ableist slur in lyrics to the pop song Grrrls by Lizzo.
Additions to the Cambridge Dictionary this year have included shrinkflation, defined as the situation when the price of a product stays the same but its size gets smaller.
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Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.