Word of the Week

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Meaning more than just “indignation”, “indignação” for Brazilians means everything from revolt and moral offense to bitterness and disgust.

Brazilians voted “indignação” their “word of the year.” Indeed, the year 2016 packed political deception, economic hardship, and nationwide marches.

Brazil’s statistics research institute IGBE polled 1,000 Brazilians across all ages, regions, and social classes. 41.8 percent of votes went to the word that fueled protests both for and against ex-president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.

indignação indignation protests brazil

“Indignação” is the same feeling of revolt and moral offense that drive all sides of Brazilian politics to point fingers at each other. The bitterness that people felt when President Temer passed the 20-year austerity bill. And, finally, the utter disgust that comes with scrambling to pay the bills while the headlines tell of billion-dollar bribes.

The study’s coordinator Leandro Machado commented on Thursday’s results for Brazil’s of the year. “I think that no other word could better summarize the state of mind of Brazilians concerning this year that’s ending,” said Machado to the Brazilian press. “The definition of ‘indignação’ is intense fury, hate, outrage felt before injustice, insult, the violation of fundamental principles. The Brazilian people are sending a clear message to their leaders.”

Brazil’s word of the year was the favorite across all ages, regions, genders, and social classes. However, the most “indignant” group was by far older women of the lower classes.

Brazilians chose between five words: indignação, zica, bolhas, desafio, and desmoralização. A “word of the year” committee including a poet, lawyer, journalist, anthropologist and a political scientist provided the word selection. The Brazilian research institute IGBE then conducted the survey.

The “word of the year” is a long-standing tradition among Western countries, originating with the Society of German Language in the 1970s. Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” their word of the year following Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.


February 22SURUBA
February 10FREVO
February 01CAFUNDÓ