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American Dialect Society names ‘-ussy’ as 2022 Word of the Year

We have the American dictionary Merriam Webster and Oxford naming “gaslighting” and “goblin mode” as their Word of the Year 2022, respectively. Now, the American Dialect Society introduces its Word of the Year for 2022 as well!

American Dialect Society, composed of linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students, and independent scholars, unveiled their WOY 2022, which is the suffix “-ussy.”

In a press release published on January 6, the society members have deliberated and voted the suffix against other competing words, including “Dark Brandon,” “quiet quitting,” “rizz,” “Slava Ukraini,” and “special military operation.”

For those who aren’t familiar with “-ussy,” the suffix, according to Know Your Meme, is used to “make portmanteaus” with pussy. One linguistic researcher even called this process “pussy blends.” The suffix only emerged on the internet after a Tumblr post mentioned the term “thrussy” (throat and pussy), but its popular portmanteau is the slang “bussy.”

giphy
via Giphy

“Bussy” is commonly used among the LGBTQIA+ community members, which means “boy pussy,” or basically just referring to their anus. The slang gained more traction on the internet when videos of celebrities, including Rocketman star Taron Egerton, Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski, and Maze Runner actor Dylan O’Brien, read thirsty tweets containing the term. “Industry Baby” hitmaker and Grammy-winning artist Lil Nas X even tweeted to add “bussy” to the dictionary last year!

Now, having all of that said, what made ADS choose “-ussy” as the 2022 Word of the Year?

Well, according to ADS New Words Committee chair Ben Zimmer, the suffix highlights the “creativity in new word formation” that has been embraced in online platforms, such as TikTok.

“The playful suffix builds off the word pussy to generate new slang terms,” Zimmer explained. “The process has been so productive lately on social media sites and elsewhere that it has been dubbed -ussification.”

Speaking of creativity and productivity, people on social media didn’t pass up the chance to—of course—poke fun at ADS’ decision.

Aside from “-ussy,” the society has named “Y2K,” “hashtag,” “#BlackLivesMatter,” “dumpster fire,” “fake news,” and “COVID” as Words of the Year in the past.

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