‘Upcycling’ crowned Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2019
Upcycling was chosen as the ‘Word of the Day’ which resonated most strongly with followers on the Dictionary’s Instagram account, @CambridgeWords. The noun – defined as the activity of making new furniture, objects, etc. out of old or used things or waste material – received more likes than any other ‘Word of the Day’ when shared on 4 July 2019.
The number of times upcycling has been looked up on the Cambridge Dictionary website has risen by 181% since December of 2011, when it was first added to the online dictionary, and searches have doubled in the last year alone.
“We think it’s the positive idea behind upcycling that appeals more than the word itself,” said Wendalyn Nichols, Publishing Manager of the Cambridge Dictionary. “Stopping the progression of climate change, let alone reversing it, can seem impossible at times. Upcycling is a concrete action a single human being can take to make a difference.
“Lookups of upcycling reflect the momentum around individual actions to combat climate change — the youth activism sparked by Greta Thunberg; the growing trends of vegan, flexitarian and plant-based diets; reading and following the handbook There is No Planet B; or fashion designers upcycling clothes to create their latest collections.”