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The American Dialect Society Just Named The Suffix '-ussy' Its Word Of The Year—Because Why Not?

The internet applauded the move with a slew of -ussy jokes and memes.

stock photo of shocked person looking at cellphone with tweets overlayed
Kanok Sulaiman/Getty Images; @americandiaclect/Twitter; @RyanOfJones/Twitter

The American Dialect Society officially declared the suffix "-ussy" as the Word of the Year for 2022 in its 33rd annual words-of-the-year vote.

Ben Zimmer, chair of the ADS New Words Committee and language columnist for the Wall Street Journal, presided over the January 6 session attended virtually and in person by two hundred individuals who took part in the deliberations and voting.

Zimmer explained:

“The selection of the suffix -ussy highlights how creativity in new word formation has been embraced online in venues like TikTok,”
“The playful suffix builds off the word p*ssy to generate new slang terms."
"The process has been so productive lately on social media sites and elsewhere that it has been dubbed -ussification.”

ADS announced their decision on social media and in a press release.

Twitter couldn't help but giggle and add to the -ussifying conversation.

How do we incorporate it into our daily lexicon?

Is ussification here to stay?

It's a divine detour.

Even though it was declared word of the year in 2022, it was always with ussy.

In LGBTQ+ parlance, the word "bussy" has been used as slang to describe a portion of the male anatomy.

A portmanteau, it combines the word "boy" and a slang term for a woman's genitals.

The term was popularized as a meme after Rocketman Actor Taron Egerton read aloud a number of thirst tweets on Buzzfeed Celeb in 2019.

One of the desirous tweets read:

"Taron Egerton is a White boy that I trust to destroy my bussy.”

Visibly stumped after reading the term, Egerton asked a person off-camera what "bussy" meant and his jaw dropped upon hearing the answer.

Out Rapper Lil Nas X also used the term in a pregnancy-themed video to tease the rollout of his Montero album.

In the short clip, one of two doctors accommodating the "expectant" rapper laying on a stretcher commented the patient's "bussy water" just broke.

The American Dialect Society–which consists of members who are linguists, lexicographers, etymologists, grammarians, historians, researchers, writers, editors, students and independent scholars–explained:

"Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as 'vocabulary item'—not just words but also phrases, compounds, and affixes."
"The items do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year."
"This is not the first time an affix has been named Word of the Year: in 1998, the prefix e- (as in email) was selected."

They clarified the voting process was done in good fun and members:

"do not pretend to be officially inducting words into the English language."
"Instead, they are highlighting that language change is normal, ongoing and entertaining."