The "word" chosen is the "I'm laughing so hard, I'm crying" emoji that parents everywhere are super familiar with. The emoji was chosen because according to Oxford Dictionaries, it "best reflected the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015."
Emojis have been in use since the late 1990s, but this year Oxford University Press, in partnership with mobile tech business Swiftkey, researched how frequently some of the most popular emojis around the world were used. They found that the tears of joy emoji was the most used emoji globally in 2015, making up 17 percent of all emojis used in the U.S. and 20 percent of those in the UK (vs. 9 percent and 4 percent respectively in 2014).
Is this jump surprising? Probably not, as parents everywhere can attest to. We've used the emoji so many times throughout the day to express things we can't say with actual words (or just don't have the time to say). For example:
I got poop on my shirt and it's not mine.
I fed my toddler Cheetos for dinner.
The baby's finally asleep!
Other words on the Word of the Year shortlist are: "ad blocker," "Brexit" (British + exit), "Dark Web," "on fleek," "lumbersexual," "refugee," "sharing economy" and the pronoun "they."
Last year's word of the year was "vape." Oxford is so on fleek.