Propelled in part by the animated character Forky from Toy Story 4, “existential” was named Diciontary.com’s word of the year for 2019 on Monday. The website defines existential as “of, relating to, or characteristic of philosophical existentialism; concerned with the nature of human existence as determined by the individual’s freely made choices.”
To this end, Forky is convinced that his destiny is to be thrown into the trash in Toy Story 4, until he embraces his purpose as a treasured toy of a kindergartner named Bonnie. “Forky underscores how this sense of grappling can also inspire us to ask big questions about who we are, about our purpose,” senior research editor John Kelly told The Associated Press. Teen activist Greta Thunberg and Bernie Sanders also helped goose the word’s popularity by describing climate change as an “existential” crisis.