The Youth Word of the Year 2022 was chosen “essa” – informed Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. The word means something easy that comes easy because we’re laid back, and it’s gone viral on the internet this year. The jury also awarded the Jury Prize for the word deemed the most interesting in terms of language.
The annual competition for the Youth Word of the Year is organized by Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN in cooperation with the University of Warsaw. In mid-November, the competition jury selected the final twenty, from which Internet users were to choose the winner. Voting – carried out using a form on the sjp.pwn.pl website – lasted from 15 to 30 November. On December 6, PWN announced the results of this year’s edition of the competition.
“Essa”, “peel off” – what do they mean?
By the decision of Internet users, the Youth Word of the Year 2022 was “essa”. This word is used to refer to something easy that comes easily because we are easygoing (hence “to have an essa” meaning to have a cool down). It is often used as an exclamation of joy or triumph and is used as an expression of positive feelings as well as a greeting. The expression “essa” was popularized a few years ago by the rapper Wini, but only this year has it gained immense popularity on the Internet.
The Jury Prize was also awarded, intended for the word that the jury considers the most interesting in terms of language. It received the word “peel off” meaning a state of detachment from reality or a person who does not understand what is happening, is absent in thoughts, does not behave appropriately.
Most of the words that were in the final twenty, has its roots on the Internet, usually on the platforms TikTok and YouTube that are very popular among today’s teenagers. Many of these words are transformations of English words or combinations of them with Polish ones. There are also references to current events in the world, e.g. one of the expressions refers to war in Ukraine.
Youth Word of the Year
The aim of the competition is to select the most popular words, terms or expressions among young people. However, as the organizers explain, the Youth Word of the Year does not have to be new, slang or the most frequently used in a given year. Last year, the following were on the podium: “spiulkolot”, “naura” and “your old lady”. The list and definitions of selected words from all editions of the plebiscite can be found in the Youth Words of the Year Gallery on the website of the competition organizer.
Main photo source: tvn24