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What Do ‘Situationship’ and ‘De-influencing’ Mean? Oxford Word of the Year 2023 Contenders Explained


New Delhi: Oxford University Press has revealed a list of eight words competing for the coveted Word of the Year title. These contenders were chosen through an in-depth analysis of a massive 22-billion-word language database, capturing the evolving societal dynamics and trends of 2023.

One standout contender is ‘situationship,’ a term that encapsulates the complexities of modern romance. Coined to depict a romantic or sexual relationship lacking formal commitment, the word mirrors the evolving dynamics of relationships in today’s society.

Adding to the intrigue is ‘beige flag,’ a noun indicating a character trait implying a partner’s lack of originality or a certain degree of dullness. It captures the concept of traits that aren’t distinctly positive or negative but still play a defining role.

Earning a spot on the shortlist is the term ‘de-influencing,’ which denotes discouraging people from purchasing certain products or promoting reduced consumption, particularly in the influential realm of social media.

Making its presence known on the shortlist is ‘Swiftie,’ a term synonymous with the ardent fans of pop icon Taylor Swift. This term reflects the dedicated and enthusiastic fan base that has developed around particular celebrities in the digital age.

Also featured on the list is ‘heat dome,’ a term describing a persistent high-pressure weather system that traps hot air. This inclusion underscores the increasing influence of climate-related terms in our everyday conversations.

The term ‘parasocial,’ draws attention to the one-sided intimacy felt by fans toward media celebrities, especially in the age of social media, where followers might experience a false sense of friendship with their idols.

Adding a touch of style, ‘rizz’ brings charm to the list, representing the ability to allure romantic or sexual partners.

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