After declaring ‘youthquake’ as the word of the year in 2017, Oxford Dictionary has chosen ‘toxic’, to be 2018’s word of the year.

“From ‘toxic air’ to ‘toxic politics’, the sheer scope of its application in 2018 made ‘toxic’ the stand-out choice for our Word of the Year,” wrote Oxford Dictionary in their Twitter post announcement. Originating from the Greek word ‘toxikon pharmacon’ used to describe poison, to turning into a word to describe on any kind of unhealthy or harmful lifestyle, person, characteristic or environment in 2018, the versatility of the word ‘toxic’ really has evolved. So it being chosen as word of the year shouldn’t be surprising. Especially after knowing that someone already saw this coming. 

As soon as it was declared, netizens pointed out how this had already been predicted. However, this prediction didn’t come from Nostradamus or The Simpsons, but from popstar Britney Spears in 2003. The singer released her hit song ‘toxic’ back in 2003 and Oxford Dictionary themselves admitted that Britney did indeed play a part in popularizing the word. Oxford Dictionary wrote, “Interestingly, our research into ‘toxic’ found that pop icon played a part in spreading this metaphorical use of the word; the lyrics of her 2003 song ‘Toxic’ draw an extended metaphor of a lover as a dangerous yet addictive drug.”

“The adjective toxic is defined as ‘poisonous’ and first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century from the medieval Latin toxicus, meaning ‘poisoned’ or ‘imbued with poison’, Oxford Dictionary said in a post.

“In 2018, toxic added many strings to its poisoned bow becoming an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics,” they added.

Other words that were considered to be 2018’s word of the year were gaslighting, cakeism, incel and orbiting.