Binge-watch named Collins Dictionary’s word of the year

5 Nov 2015

Despite not being one word – despite, in fact, clearly being two words – ‘binge-watch’ has been ordained the most popular word of 2015, according to Collins Dictionary.

Starting long before the dawn of Netflix – but accelerated significantly after – the talk of binge-watching TV shows, catching entire series in one sitting, has rocketed up 200pc since 2014.

Entertainment companies are making it too easy for us, you see, with entire series released all at once, countless online avenues to catch up on missed shows and even those plentiful dodgy streaming sites knocking around.

We’re basically a bunch of couch potatoes. But fret not, ‘clean eating’ has landed in second place. Yes, again it’s two words. Should someone tell them?

‘Contactless’ is in third, with the explosion of new payment formats and new devices to handle these formats driving the trend.

There’s also ‘ghosting’ ­– the digital way of ignoring somebody that you have previously been romantic with – and ‘swipe’, with the dawn of Tinder completely changing the meaning of a word previously used in fighting or paying by card.

‘Shaming’ ranks highly, no doubt thanks to the continued pressures being put on people on social media, with ‘manspreading’, ‘transgender’, and ‘dadbod’ also getting nods.

The full list of Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2015:

  • Binge-watch: to watch a large number of television programmes (especially all the shows from one series) in succession.
  • Clean eating: following a diet that contains only natural foods, and is low in sugar, salt, and fat.
  • Contactless: referring to payments, smart cards, etc, that utilise RFID technology and do not require a PIN or signature from the customer.
  • Corbynomics: the economic policies advocated by the UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Dadbod: an untoned and slightly plump male physique, especially one considered attractive.
  • Ghosting: ending a relationship by ignoring all communication from the other person.
  • Manspreading: 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: attempting to embarrass a person or group by drawing attention to their perceived offence, especially on social media.
  • Swipe: to move a finger across a touchscreen on an electronic device as a means of inputting a command.
  • Transgender: of or relating to a person whose gender identity does not fully correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth.

Watching TV image, via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic