“Mansplain” made its way into the Urban Dictionary in 2009. In 2010, “mansplainer” was a New York Times Word of the Year. In 2014, Salon declared the word dead (the true sign of making it); the Oxford Dictionaries added “mansplain” as an entry; and the Macquarie Dictionary named it Word of the Year.
At its most basic, “mansplaining” refers to — as a 2015 Merriam-Webster “Words We’re Watching” column put it — “what occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone (especially a woman) about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.”
Although the term “mansplaining” originated in the United States, the practice may very well be universal — and in fact, the term has already moved abroad. In 2015, the Swedish Language Council welcomed “mansplaining” to its list of new Swedish words. Iceland made its own variant (“hrútskýring,” or “ramsplaining”) the 2016 Word of the Year — and named a beer after it. In Greek, Japanese, Portuguese, Swedish, and many other languages, the English “mansplaining” just gets dropped into the conversation, and folks nod.
This list was crowdsourced among friends, writers, and scholars, who reached out to their own friends and families around the world to collect the words on everybody’s lips — and even to coin a few. Like the original term, new words for “mansplaining” get invented on the fly, sometimes in a single, offhand tweet. From that point of origin, they go viral on social media, or get adopted by a national tourist board, and finally make their way into lexicons.