Collins Dictionary have announced their words of the year, and coming in at first place is ‘binge-watch’.
Thanks to the popularity of subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, there has been a marked change in the way we watch television.
Earlier this year, Netflix announced that screenwriters were placing less emphasis on pilot episodes, because placing an entire series online immediately, allows people to glean storylines throughout the series, rather than needing to learn key information immediately.
Lexicographers noted a 200% increase in the term’s usage in the last year, alone.
According to a recent survey, more than 90% of television viewers claim to ‘binge-watch’ programmes – defined as watching more than three episodes of a series in one day - and 37% of people reported spending an entire weekend watching a series.
Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins, says: “The rise in usage of 'binge-watch' is clearly linked to the biggest sea change in our viewing habits since the advent of the video recorder nearly 40 years ago.”
“It's not uncommon for viewers to binge-watch a whole season of programmes such as House Of Cards or Breaking Bad in just a couple of evenings - something that, in the past, would have taken months - then discuss their binge-watching on social media,” she says.
Other words added to the list include ‘manspreading’ – the infuriating act of sitting on public transport with one’s legs splayed out in an anti-social manner, usually attributed to male commuters.
‘Dadbod’ has also been included; a word which refers to a rotund but still attractive male physique, often associated with fathers and used in reference to male celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio and Seth Rogen.
Another body-related term, ‘shaming’ has been added to Collins’ Word of the Year list, referring to the act of knocking somebody’s confidence by making negative comments about their appearance – usually taking place on social media. The word has had a significant rise since 2014, according to experts.
The practice of ‘ghosting’ has also been added to the list, a word which refers to the process of ending a relationship by cutting all communication, without explanation.
The word ‘swiping’ has also increased in usage due to the popularity of dating apps such as Tinder, which requires users move or ‘swipe’ their fingers across their smartphone to select – or reject – potential suitors.
‘Clean eating’ has also been noted by the Collins team as a term that's being increasingly used, referring to a diet free from processed foods and high in raw, healthy ingredients. The phrase has even created a social media backlash of its own, with the parody Instagram account, STELLA, mocking the practice of bragging over one’s healthy diet.
“Once again, the list of Collins’ Words of the Year offers a fascinating snapshot of the ever-changing English language,” says Newstead.
These phrases certainly reveal a lot about our lives in 2015 – half of the population is evidently binge-watching Netflix and enjoying resultant dadbods while manspreading on the 8.15, whilst the other half are eating clean and body shaming others, while ghosting anyone who touches a pizza.
The new list of words already appears on the Collins Dictionary website and those that “stand the test of time” will make it into the dictionary’s next print edition in 2018.
See the full list of words, below.
Binge-watch (verb): to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession.
Clean eating (noun): following a diet that contains only natural foods, and is low in sugar, salt, and fat.
Contactless (adjective): referring to payments, smart cards, etc that utilize RFID (radio-frequency identity) technology and do not require a PIN or signature from the customer
Corbynomics (noun): the economic policies advocated by the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
Dadbod (noun): an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one considered attractive
Ghosting (noun): ending a relationship by ignoring all communication from the other person
Manspreading (noun): the act or an instance of a male passenger in a bus or train splaying his legs in a way that denies space to the passenger sitting next to him
Shaming (noun): attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, especially on social media
Swipe (verb): to move a finger across a touchscreen on a mobile phone in order to approve (swipe right) or dismiss (swipe left) an image
Transgender (adjective): of or relating to a person whose gender identity does not fully correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth