BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

books

The 2016 Word Of The Year Is Pretty Awful, According To Dictionary.com

Disappointing.

Posted on November 29, 2016, at 12:07 p.m. ET

So... the 2016 word of the year according to Dictionary.com? It's xenophobia.

The word means "fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers" and it's been popping up a lot in cultural conversation, especially around the US presidential election and Brexit.

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

According to Dictionary.com, there was a 938% increase in search for the word on June 24 — the day after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

Interest in the term "hate crime" apparently also soared following the Brexit vote.
Wpa Pool / Getty Images

Interest in the term "hate crime" apparently also soared following the Brexit vote.

Interest in the word surged on June 29, too, after President Obama mentioned xenophobia in relation to Donald Trump.

Obama said that Trump's campaign was not run on populism, but “nativism or xenophobia.”
Gabriel Bouys / AFP / Getty Images

Obama said that Trump's campaign was not run on populism, but “nativism or xenophobia.”

Not surprisingly, people aren't too thrilled with Dictionary.com's WOTY choice — especially after last year's word was, ironically, "identity."

Xenophobia does go weirdly well with Oxford Dictionaries' choice for 2016 Word of the Year, though:

Oxford Dictionary

ADVERTISEMENT