Merriam Webster’s word of the year is gaslighting — because of course it is

Published 01 Dec, 2022 11:48am

Images Staff

This winter we're asking the question — have you really been gaslit?

The Merriam Webster dictionary has declared gaslighting its word of the year. Is gaslighting even real though? Are you sure you have been gaslit?

See what we did there? We just gaslit gaslighting. If you don’t get it, let us break it down for you. Though it’s wintertime and we don’t really have enough gas to be lighting it, we have plenty of gaslighting potential. This may not create any fire to keep you warm but it will definitely light a fire inside that will drive the gaslitee a little nuts.

Gaslighting is the act of grossly misleading someone, especially for one’s own advantage. Though it is undeniably a serious tactic of manipulation, pop culture has accepted it with open arms, attaching its own brand of funny to it. People can now joke about being gaslit and even being the gaslighter, especially when it topples an established power structure.

For example, you may have heard the phrase gaslight, gatekeep, girlboss. Though gaslighting and gatekeeping are not exactly positive phenomena, women use the phrase humorously to subtly reclaim their power, adding a girlboss as the cherry on top.

We need to make sure you understand, though these jokes bring up some serious issues such as mental health and unhealthy relationships or situationships, sometimes it’s easier for people to talk about things they are going through using memes.

Introverts can also use it to escape uncomfortable social situations.

In other news, this is how Twitter users have accepted the word of the year update — with a ginormous serving of piping hot irony.

The Rolling Stone also claimed that Merriam Webster is a real mastermind trying to gaslight us into believing gaslighting is the word of the year.

Have you ever used the word gaslighting?