‘Aadhaar’ is Oxford’s first Hindi word of the year

The Hindi Word of the Year for 2017 is “AADHAAR”.

This was announced by Oxford dictionaries at the Jaipur Literature Festival JLF on Saturday.”Aadhaar” also becomes the first Oxford Dictionaries word of the Year.

The accompanying shortlisted words include Notebandi, Swachh, Vikaas, Yoga, and Bahubali, reflect the social, cultural, political and economic trends and events that have been part of 2017.

Hindi Word of the Year

The ‘Hindi Word of the Year’ is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of attention and reflects the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past year, stated a press statement from Oxford University Press.


‘Aadhaar’ is a word long established in the Hindi language. However, it gained a new sense in 2010 as the shorthand name for the Aadhaar Card i.e. Unique Identification Numbers (UIN) introduced by the then government of India under Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. This new sense of the word has been at the centre of the national conversation in 2017 as moves to mandate expansion of the programme to bank accounts and phone numbers have resulted in significant debates around the merits and risks of the programme. 2017 has been the year of several high-profile court cases and reports of data leaks which have influenced public opinion.

Formal Announcement

The Word of the Year was formally announced on January 27, 2018 at the Jaipur Literature Festival where it was subject to a panel discussion with Ashok Vajpeyi, Hindi poet, literary and cultural critic, Pankaj Dubey, writer, producer and director, Anu Singh Choudhary, writer, translator and filmmaker and Chitra Mudgal, one of the leading literary figures of modern Hindi literature, among others.

The Hindi Word of the Year was chosen by the Oxford Dictionaries team in India with the help of an advisory panel of language experts which include Kritika Agrawal, lawyer, polyglot and Indian language expert, Mallika Ghosh, senior editorial manager at Oxford University Press, India, Namita Gokhale, writer and publisher and Poonam Nigham Sahay, associate professor at Ranchi University, among others.