(AP) — Merriam-Webster has named the pronoun "they" its 2019 word of the year.
The word and its emergence as a nonbinary alternative to "he" and "she" experienced a 313-percent increase in look-ups on Merriam-Webster.com.
Editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski says he was surprised by the data but the word has been the subject of a lot of talk this year.
Look-ups for "they" spiked in January with the rise of model Oslo Grace on top fashion runways. In September, the dictionary's site experienced another big increase in look-ups for "they" when pop star Sam Smith wrote on social media that their preferred pronouns were "they" and "them."