What words best sum up 2022?

What words best sum up 2022?
BBC word cloud describes Rishi Sunak as 't**t' and 'c**t' during live …

What do you think of when you look back at 2022?

A very hot summer? Crisis after crisis? An ongoing and devastating war in Ukraine?

Dictionary publisher HarperCollins has tracked the use of new words online and in print media to find their top 10 new words of the year.

Taking a look at them, they really do sum up the last 11 months.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter


Splooting, apparently, is when a dog or cat lies flat on its stomach with its hind legs stretched out behind it.

It is thought that animals do this to deal with extreme heat and given the warm weather we've been having this year, it has gained traction.


What with the aftershocks of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the musical chairs leadership of Britain, we can understand why the publisher made this word, which they define as a term describing an “extended period of instability and insecurity” the word of the year.


With the death of Queen Elizabeth II making King Charles the new King, we are now in the Carolean era so people have been using the term more.


It was arguably the biggest story in British politics of the year. Politicians and staff working for them were found to have broken the very laws they made to cope with the coronavirus pandemic on an astounding number of occasions.

No wonder the word that became shorthand to describe all these issues has slipped into the general lexicon.


People and brands showed their support for Ukraine this year when Russia invaded the country by referring to the capital city of the war-torn country with its Ukrainian, not Russian spelling.

“Warm bank”

This describes a building such as a public library opening its doors over the winter months to provide a place for people to keep warm due to spiralling energy costs.

“Quiet quitting”

It is when people do just enough work not to get fired - but no more..

"Vibe shift”

This means a “significant change in the prevailing atmosphere or culture”.


This is a term for organisations and countries that use sports activities to distract from iffy politics.


And this is the strategic use of legal proceedings to intimidate or hinder an opponent.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)