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The most loved (and hated) words of 2019!

This time of year often encourages reflection and we thought it prescient to look back and reflect upon 2019 in the way that we know best, linguistically!

Popular, common and most used words provide a fascinating snapshot of a particular time in history. For example, 1997’s Word of Year was ‘millennium bug’, AKA the bug that didn’t bite!

The tradition of electing a ‘word of the year’ originated in Germany in 1971 and has been appropriated by organisations all over the world. What was 2019’s official Word of the Year? Merriam Webster plumped for ‘they’, as did the American Dialect Society for their word of the decade! The singular ‘they’ has been adopted by individuals who identify as non-binary. Such a selection for word of the year and decade reflects how attitudes are changing and celebrates the progress we are making the world over.

Keeping in the spirit of things, our team here at Professional Language Solutions has decided to put in our penny’s worth! Drumroll please…here are PLS’ most loved and hated words of 2019!!

Most loved:


(noun) /buːmə/

  • Shortened version of ‘baby-boomer’. This is a person born between 1946 and 1964.
  • Often used more colloquially among young people to be directed at someone (of any age) who is behaving in such a way that is considered ‘old and boring’.

“LMAO, ok boomer”

“Karen is being such a boomer right now”


(noun) /rəʊdmən/

  • Someone, usually a young man, who spends a lot of time on the streets and may end up causing some trouble.

“He uses a lot of roadman slang”

“Why have you started dressing like a roadman?”


(exclamation) /jɑːs/

  • Expressing great pleasure or excitement.
  • Used informally and made popular by memes and social media.

“Free wine? Yass, queen!”

Most hated:


(noun) /bændwɪθ/

  • Refers to your capacity to take on more work and tasks. I.e. your workload…why not just say ‘workload’!?

“What’s your current bandwidth looking like?”

Business disruptor

(noun) /bɪznɪs dɪsrʌptə/

  • People, products or companies that change the status quo in a particular market with something innovative

“Susan has brought so much to this company…a true business disruptor!”

Move the needle

(idiomatic expression)

  • To improve something to a noticeable degree AKA ‘work harder!’

“We really need to move the needle on this one, how’s your bandwidth looking?”

And there you have it, PLS’ most loved and hated words of 2019! Why not have a quick survey around your office to see if there are any similarities? Let us know what you find 😊


Here at Professional Language Solutions, languages are our thing. We can help you and your colleagues with any training requirements you may have. Our huge team of qualified and experienced teachers provide bespoke and tailored lessons in all world languages. Get in touch today to see how we can help.



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Language Solutions Holdings - our companies

  Professional Language Solutions Ltd
Established in 1991, PLS provides language training in multiple formats and over 50 languages for corporate and government customers across the UK.
  Language Solutions International Ltd
Operating since 1993, LSI is the international wing of our organisation. We offer specialist English language training and assessments, as well as recruitment and manpower solutions for projects around the world.


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