04 OCTOBER 2018


SAWord of the Year 2018 

04 OCTOBER 2018



16 October 2018 is International Dictionary Day. This day is observed annually the world over.

In celebrating this day, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will announce its 2018 South African Word of the Year. We are looking for a word or expression chosen to reflect the passing year in language. In so doing we create awareness that the business of our Lexicography Units develop dictionaries in all South African official languages is mindful of the universal natural fact that language is a social phenomenon that is forever influx. New concepts and associative terms and meaning would forever emerge.

“The SA Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past twelve months,” said PanSALB Acting Chief Executive Officer Ms Angelina Netshiheni. 

“To qualify for consideration we look for evidence that its usage has increased significantly across a broad range of media,” Netshiheni added. 

In 2017 State Capture was crowned as the SA Word of the Year after defeating words like White Monopoly Capital and Blesser. According to PanSALB the above words captured the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of 2018.

We will review candidates for word of the year, debate their merits, choose the one that captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of 2018. The winner will be announced on Monday, 16 October 2018, to coincide with International Dictionary Day, at ceremony to be held at the University of Fort Hare in Alice, Eastern Cape.

During that day the IsiXhosa National Lexicography Unit which was started in 1968 as Dictionary Unit will be celebrating 50 years of existence.


Celebrate by predicting the SA Word of the Year via our social media pages. Use #DictionaryDay# SAWordoftheYear to post on social media: Facebook: @PanSALB; Twitter:@PanSALB; Instagram: pansalb_za. 


National Dictionary Day was created in honour of Noah Webster’s birthday (October 16, 1758) and was set aside as a day to emphasize the importance of learning and using dictionary skills and increasing one’s vocabulary. Webster is considered the Father of the American Dictionary.



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