For over a decade, the Oxford dictionary has been keeping track of popular words in everyday language to come up with a Word Of The Year (WOTY). But this year’s word is perhaps the strangest.

This year the emoji ‘face with tears of joy’ has been chosen Word Of The Year.

Representational image | Source: Oxford Dictionaries Blog

The Oxford Dictionary, along with SwiftKey, checked which were the most used emojis and the ‘face with tears of joy’ won by a clear margin.

Incidentally the word emoji is from Japanese and is defined as ‘a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication’.

“Emoji culture has become so popular that individual characters have developed their own trends and stories,” Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Dictionaries said in an official statement explaining this year’s choice.

This is one of the rare occasions when the UK and US teams of the dictionary have agreed on the same word, with previous ones being ‘selfie’, ‘vape’ and ‘chav’.

So which words lost to ‘face with tears of joy’? Here’s the list:

Ad blocker.

A piece of software designed to prevent advertisements from appearing on a web page.

Representational image | Source:


A term for the potential or hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Dark Web.

The part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable.


a young urban man who cultivates an appearance and style of dress (typified by a beard and checked shirt) suggestive of a rugged outdoor lifestyle.

On fleek.

extremely good, attractive, or stylish.


A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

Sharing economy.

An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.

They (singular).

Used to refer to a person of unspecified sex.