Online voting: “Cringe” is youth word of the year


Status: 10/25/2021 8:48 a.m.

When teenagers find something embarrassing, they often call it “cringe”. According to Langescheidt-Verlag, this term is particularly widespread among those up to 20 years of age. Now it has been voted youth word of the year.

“Cringe” is the youth word of the year 2021. The term describes something embarrassing or unpleasant and is used as an expression for the shame of others. If a situation is very embarrassing for someone, it is also referred to as “cringy”. The word prevailed in a final vote by Langenscheidt-Verlag with 42 percent of the votes, as the company announced.

“The term is part of the active language used by ten to 20 year olds,” said the publisher, which has been organizing the election since 2008. This is evident not least from the fact that “cringe” was already in second place last year.

The youth word of the year 2021

Tim Diekmann, SWR, Morgenmagazin, 25.10.2021

Previously, young people had voted on their favorite word in several rounds – after all, in addition to “cringe”, the terms “sheesh” and “sus” were also left. “Sheesh” expresses astonishment or disbelief and is used either before or after a sentence to dramatize what is said. The word “sus” – the abbreviation for “suspect” – means something like “suspicious” or “suspicious”. “Sus” landed in the final with 32 percent of the vote in second place ahead of “sheesh” (26 percent).

1.2 million voted

According to Langenscheidt, a total of around 1.2 million young people took part in the election, which began on June 14th. Since 2020 you can vote on the publisher’s website. Previously, adults had decided on the youth word, which had repeatedly sparked discussions. A publishing committee only ensures that the terms have no discriminatory or sexist reference.

Last year “lost” was chosen as the youth word of the year. It expresses ignorance and uncertainty.


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