FUNNY WOMEN: Other Contenders for 2017’s Word of the Year


Merriam Webster announced that the Word of the Year for 2017 was “feminism.” Here were the German contenders for Word of the Year.

Whewkerpow: The consolation that people are talking about a beloved celebrity because they are dead and not a serial sex goblin.

Hensonärger: The realization that if you saw a headline that read, “Three Muppets Come Forward with Allegations Against Big Bird,” you’d be like, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

NBDen: The profound relief when the news alert is about the Olympics or is just a positive movie review, a recipe, or a new animal friendships science just tweeted.

Sortinghattenchafft: The emotional whiplash you feel when a public figure dismisses something he did twenty years ago as not being reflective of who he is today, and at first you think, “That might be true,” but then you remember that you read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone twenty years ago and still actively identify as a Hufflepuff, so maybe people don’t actually change that much.

Nichtmehr: The specific relief that comes when an artist whose work you’ve always felt pressure to get into finally falls from grace, and so you no longer need to slog through Lucky Louie.

Frauscheiße: When you think about all the female-driven films we didn’t see because we were spending all of our time worshipping serial rapists, and you squeeze your stress ball so hard it turns into a tiny diamond.

Itmemutter: When you drive past some roadkill and whisper, “Honestly, same,” and your kid in the backseat is like, “I’m sorry, what?”

Fünkenflurg: The melancholic afterthought that you deserve a participation trophy because every time you knew in your bones that a man was gaslighting you, you were spot-fucking-on.

Freundenbullshite: The eye roll that follows when a predator’s close celebrity friends feign shock and claim that they had no clue their talented BFF was doing vile crimes to people all this time, and you want so much to believe them until you remember that you’re a stay-at-home mom in Ohio and somehow you knew, so like…

NPRmurgturds: When you find out that even your favorite Good Liberal Men have dollar-store moral compasses, and you’re so wildly disappointed that you rip a tote bag in half and say, “This is why I’m not pledging to NPR this year!” even though you weren’t going to anyway and never have.

Neinjoken: When say out loud that you want to burn it all down and see them melt like wax, and you both stare at each other until he whispers, “Okay, but just the burger for now?”

Couchenserin: When a furniture brand is trending on Twitter for a promotional sale, and for a quick second you’re like, “Ugh, okay, who else did this 50%-off Wayfair sofa assault?”

Selfcarenflop: The psychological spiral from scanning the news for non-sexual harassment reports, and you see that the oceans are half-full of plastic, and life on this planet is coming to a close, and oh, god, the emaciated polar bears, but also, recycling is kind of a drag (and possibly a myth), so I’m just going to throw this yogurt carton in the regular trash and call it a goddamn day.

Smorgasfluffen: The feeling of publicly sobbing because someone sent you a video of a squirrel trying very hard to hide an acorn in a dog pal’s fur and the dog watches on tenderly, and you needed that so bad. Like so, so bad.

Krankenkrank: When you’re trying to explain what it’s like to constantly live in the in-between feeling of being vindicated and re-traumatized, and your Tinder date is like, “Yes, exactly,” and you’re both nodding, and then you’re like, “Wait, what are you talking about, Seth?”

Notallmann: The reflex that, before offering any sort of criticism of toxic masculinity, first you need to soften the blow by praising every decent man you’ve ever encountered beginning with the stranger who waved you ahead at a four-way stop when it was technically his turn and ending with the cartoon fox who played Robin Hood.

Sörryneinsørry: The bottomless silent rage at men for being so bad at apologizing for rape when just yesterday you sincerely apologized to a door for almost running into it.

AHHHHHHHHHHHH: When Oslo’s National Gallery keeps accusing you of trying to sneak out with their copy of Munch’s The Scream and you keep having to explain, “No, this isn’t a painting, this is my face and what it looks like now.”

Markleprincesschafen: When you spend every moment trying to decide what fresh horror to give your tears to, and you are so desperate for any kind of good news that ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement you have worn a tiara and have been shotgunning English Breakfast.

WÖÖDY: The infinitesimal stroke you have when you see that a particular movie is still coming out and HOW is that still happening and also WHY, and at what point are we going to… and just, like, we all KNOW… and like, considering ALL the—this is a GIMME—and is it because glasses? Or just WHY?!

Geisterbilder: When you’re pregnant with unspeakable sadness for the world, and then this one guy doesn’t text you back and somehow that’s the worst thing.

Kriskringlum: The glimmer of hope that the workplace might change for women and you may not get assaulted again, but then wondering if that’s too much to hope for, and also wondering if the local mall Santa was the person to talk to about this and then judging, based on his expression, that no, he was not.

Fückit: When you’ve had enough, more than enough, but somehow enough is never enough, and I put wine in my cereal now.

Hanksenfurcht: The global understanding that if anything bad about Tom Hanks ever comes out, we will all just be extremely, extremely done.


Rumpus original art by Kaili Doud


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Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches humor writing at The New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. Riane Konc is a writer whose work is featured in, the New York Times, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Reductress, and more. Follow her on Twitter @theillustrious and find more writing at More from this author →