2011's top words in pictures

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Stylist Team

The Global Language Monitor, a media analytics company that tracks cultural trends, has revealed 2011's most used words, names and phrases. ‘Occupy’ ranked as 2011's top word, ‘Arab Spring’ the top phrase and ‘Steve Jobs’ the top name this year. Bunga Bunga and Kate Middleton are also some of the key mentions on this list. Here are some of our favourites ... in pictures.

  • 2011's words in pictures


    The word 'Occupy' topped the list as the most used word in the English language. It’ has risen to pre-eminence through the 'Occupy Movement', the occupation of Iraq and the so-called ‘Occupied Territories’. Here is an image of an demonstator campaigning outside St Paul's Cathedral, London, as part of the Occupy London protest.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Steve Jobs

    In October 2011, the world was saddened by the demise of Steve Jobs, the genius, super-influential co-founder of Apple inc. He was ranked as the top name for 2011 - miles ahead of anyone else including Obama and Gaddafi. Here is just one of the many tributes that flooded in after his death was announced.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William, eldest son of the Prince of Wales and Princess Diana was of course the event of the year that made the world stand still. No surprise that it came 2nd in the 'phrase of the year' ranking.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Arab Spring

    Arab Spring, the top phrase for 2011, refers to the series of uprisings, social protests, and rebellion occurring among many nations of the Arab World which began this spring. Here are Syrian refugees demonstrating against President Bashar al-Assad at the Turkish Red Crescent camp, Altinozu, Hatay

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Osama Bin Laden and the Seal Team 6

    The Seal Team 6, the US so called 'assasination squad' that ended Osama' Bin Laden's life, was, along with Bin Laden, the second highest ranking word under the 'name' category in 2011. So much so that the question as to who changed the world more, Al-qaeda or Steve Jobs, has been bandied around. This controversial memento of the death of the world's number one terrorist has gone on sale. The "Obama Kill Osama" figurine features the U.S. president - number 8 in the top names of 2011 - standing triumphantly over the body of Bin Laden.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Climage change

    Climate Change was the number one phrase for the first decade of the 21st century and, although for 2011 it ranks 4th on the top phrases list, it still resonates in its second decade. This was one of the photographs shown at Louise Murray's 'High Arctic' exhibition. It highlights the plight of bearded seals. They are at risk due to the global warming /climate change in the Arctic as they are dependent on sea ice to breed.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Tahrir Square

    Tahrir Square came sixth on the poll of top phrases of 2011. This was the scene of the demonstrations in Cairo against President Hosni Mubarak. Here is a demonstrator during clashes with the Egyptian security in Tahrir Square.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Bunga bunga

    The comical sounding phrase came 8th on the lsit of phrases, and emerged in the language due to the now infamous parties hosted by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. It made its first appearance in October, when 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer Karima El Mahroug - who calls herself Ruby - said she had attended "bunga bunga" parties with other women at Mr Berlusconi's villa in Milan. Here Berlusconi shows the painting of Appiani describing it like the Bunga Bunga of the nineteenth-century.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Kate Middleton

    Prince William's bride has captivated the world for so many reasons. She's a commoner who married royalty, she nods to fashion but with a totally appropriate sartorial stance and of course there's that hair . She continues to hold everyone's attention in her capacity as the Duchess of Cambridge. She's seen here speaking with a guest at a charity dinner she hosted with her husband Prince William in St James Palace.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Anger and rage

    This ranked third on most used phrases. Pundits have used the word to describe the sentiment of the global electorate. Here is a protestor in London at the TUC national demonstration against government spending cuts.

  • 2011's words in pictures


    The word Haboob ranked seventh on the top words for 2011. Literally translated, Haboob is 'strong wind' in Arabic. This imported term describes the massive sandstorms in the American Southwest which are mainly experienced in the deserts of Arizona,New Mexico and Texas. Here a dust storm moves from the suburb of Tempe to downtown Phoenix.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Muamar Gaddafi

    2011 was the year that saw Muamar Gaddafi, the Libyan strongman who had held on to power for over four decades, toppled and killed. His name came 7th on the top names for 2011 list. At the 39th Annual Village Halloween Parade in New York, a reveller dressed up as the dictator (pictured).

  • 2011's words in pictures


    Fukashima was the epicenter of the Japanese Triple Disaster (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown). It ranked number 3 on the top names for 2011. Here residents of Okuma-cho pray during a memorial service for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Okuma, Japan- near to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    Number two on the list of most used words was 'Deficit'. It highlights a growing concern with the financial problems currently plaguing the economies of the developed world. Here is the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Eurozone debt crisis talks at European Commission headquarters in Brussels.

  • 2011's words in pictures

    The Great Recession

    Unsurprisingly, 'The Great Recession' made the list (number 5) of most used phrases in 2011. Despite being technically over , this term can still be heard to describe the on-going global economic restructure. A luggage store in New York sticks a 'Bad Economy' sign in its window to highlight the worldwide economic slump.


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