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Human Interest

‘Dadbod,’ ‘on Fleek’ and Trump’s ‘Bigly’ Top List of Banned Words in 2017

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Jeff Kowalsky/AFP/Getty Images

Quick — there’s only a few more hours in 2016 to tell friends how “on fleek” they look.

Since 1977,  people from around the world have nominated hundreds of words and phrases to be included in Lake Superior State University’s annual List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness — and the 2017 list has just dropped.

In the past, the list of purged lexicon — released each year as the world celebrates the new year — have included popular phrases like “break the internet,” “giving me life,” “too big to fail” and “think outside the box.” Buzzwords on the list? “Bae,” stakeholder,” “YOLO,” and “secret sauce.”

This year’s 42nd annual list gets a little more political with in the inclusion of “post-truth” and “bigly.”

Ironically, Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” its Word of the Year for 2016 — stemmed largely from its usage surrounding Britain’s Brexit referendum and 2016 presidential election. It’s meaning, according to Oxford? “Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

“Bigly” came from a President-elect Donald Trump‘s usage for the phrase during the debates. The word became a highly-debated and mocked term throughout the election cycle — helping land itself on another year-end list: Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Words of 2016.

Also political in nature? The term “town hall meeting,” as candidates seldom debate in actual town halls anymore.

Of course, not everything on Lake Superior State University’s list has to do with politics. There’s “831” — a texting encryption of “I love you” meant to symbolize its 8 letters, 3 words, and 1 meaning. And “get your dandruff up…” — a phrase used when someone might be feeling anger or angry.

Two favorites? “Dadbod” — a term used to turn dad’s flabby, non-chiseled bodies into the new male ideal, and “ghost” — meaning to abruptly end communication with someone over social media.

And then there’s “on fleek” — which got the chop along with “focus,” “historic,” “manicured,” “you, sir,” “béte noire,” “guesstimate,” “echo chamber,” “listicle,” “selfie drone,” “disruption” and “Frankenfruit.”

The List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness was started by public relations director W.T. (Bill) Rabe — as an attempt to get the new institution in Northern Michigan to get noticed.

According to its website, the international reaction from news media and the public was so big that first year, Rabe knew “it would go on forever.”

Way to be “on fleek,’ Rabe.