Scrabble fans and lexicographers across the country will no doubt be especially interested by the words of the year for 2015, according to Collins English Dictionary. They deemed ‘binge-watch’ as their top pick, with its reference to a potential for excessive watching of television programmes at one sitting seeming particularly relevant with the festive season looming ahead.

Leading stars plug products

Binge-watch (a verb) reflects a growing popularity in the subscription services offered by such as Netflix, whereby viewers may choose to watch a large chunk or even the full series of their favourite television programme without a significant break.

Not that surprising then that it rates so highly, given recent celebrity endorsements from the likes of Idris Elba of “The Wire” for Sky Box Set offerings. It is has been estimated that there has been a 200% increase in the word’s usage since last year.

Consumers seeking faster payment methods

Another word that featured highly in their estimation was ‘contactless’ (an adjective), a particularly poignant choice given the likelihood for widespread shopping in the Christmas period. Retail outlets seem to be increasingly offering contactless payment methods using smart cards, hence avoiding the necessity for entering a PIN or authorising a financial transaction via a signature. Relatively recent technological advances have made this possible by utilising radio-frequency identification (RFID) to facilitate secure payments.

Other words to feature strongly in Collins’ list of favourite words included:

  • Corbynomics (noun) – a relatively recent term that relates to the economic policies propounded by the current leader of the opposition, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Manspreading (noun) – a particularly annoying trait for a man travelling on a train or bus to display, as he limits the space afforded to other passengers sitting nearby.
  • Ghosting (noun) – the cold behaviour employed by someone seeking to end a relationship by simply being unresponsive to their communications.
  • Dadbod (noun) – as a nod to Society’s preference for a sleek and toned physique, this far less flattering term applies to men deemed to have the opposite look.
  • Shaming (noun) – another term relating to how people interact and communicate in modern times, especially via Social media. The word can be used to cause embarrassment for an individual or group by making others aware of offences that have been carried out by them.

The top ten list was completed by the words and terms “clean eating” (noun), “swipe” (verb) and “transgender” (adjective).

Common usage of new words is something that Collins monitor over a period of time, as the English language is constantly developing and evolving to reflect changes in society. Words that continue to be popular become candidates for the next print edition of their dictionary, due out in 2018.