Another word with American origins was bigger than ever in the UK in 2014, and a UK-to-US noun had a very good case made for it for timeliness. So to the adjectives we add the Nouns of the Year. First off, the US to UK:
bake(-)offAs in the BBC's:
Before you say "but that's two words", I refer you to the hyphen above. On every linguistic test, it is one word, a noun. But the British establishment has a higher tolerance than Americans do for what we in the word business call 'open compounds' (as alluded to in this old post).
As Nancy Friedman wrote, when she nominated the word:
The term has been common in the US since at least 1949, when Pillsbury introduced its national Bake-Off contest; it was later adopted [...] as programmer lingo to mean a contest between competing technologies.She also noted that Collins dictionaries short-listed it as one of their Words of the Year. Here's what it looks like in the OED (note the hyphen!):
But (I hear you muttering) the Great British Bake Off had its fifth television (AmE) season/(BrE) series in 2014, so why make it a Word of the Year now? I'll quote Wikipedia on its ratings:
The series started with its highest ratings for its opening episode after its move to BBC One, with over 7 million tuning in according to overnight figures. This is adjusted to 8.5 million for its 7-day final viewing figure, making this its second most-watched episode after previous year's final. In the fourth episode, 8.1 million watched the original broadcast, but the "sabotage" controversy gained the show a further 2 million viewers on the BBC iPlayer catch-up service, giving the show the biggest ever audience with 10.248 million viewers for the episode. The final of the show gained an overnight viewing figure of 12.29 million, then the highest viewing figure for a non-sporting event of the year on UK TV. Series 5 had a consolidated average of 10,039,400 viewers.The controversy mentioned above was also known as "bingate" (mixing the BrE bin with the orig. AmE -gate suffix) involved a contestant getting fed up with his Baked Alaska and throwing it away, then showing the judges the (BrE) rubbish bin when asked to display his work. It was alleged that another contestant had moved his ice cream from the freezer to make room for her own.
It was all over the papers. I liked this review of the phenomenon from Stuart Heritage in the Guardian:
Pity the historians of the future. They’re the ones who will have to put the hysteria surrounding last week’s episode of The Great British Bake Off into some kind of context. And that’ll be much harder than it sounds, because the main trajectory of the news this summer has basically been: horror, horror, misery, horror, misery, man putting a pudding in a bin, misery.The irony of the Americanism in a "Great British" institution is not something that's regularly pointed out, but it's becoming a great British tradition too: note the Americanism in BBC's The Great British Sewing Bee.
“Why did everyone lose their minds about a man putting a pudding in a bin?” they’ll wonder. “Why, with everything else going on in the world, did that make the Sun’s front page? Why did the Guardian devote 11 separate news stories to it? It was just a man putting a pudding in a bin”. Finally, exasperated at their ridiculous ancestors and exhausted from trying to figure out what the hell a “bincident” is, they’ll give up, cut their losses and simply torch the archives. It’ll be the Library of Alexandria all over again.