These Are The Words Of The Year From ‘Unprecedented’ 2020 As Per Oxford Dictionary

Pic: @OxLanguages/Twitter

For the first time, the Oxford English Dictionary couldn’t choose a word of the year, describing 2020 as “a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word”. Instead, from “unmute” to “mail-in”, and from “coronavirus” to “lockdown”, the eminent reference work has announced its “words of an ‘unprecedented’ year”.

Words related to coronavirus

A completely new word ‘Covid-19‘ was first recorded on February 11. “Lockdown“, “social distancing“, “face masks“, “circuit breaker“, “PPE” “frontliners“, “essential workers” and “reopening” soon followed.

Coronavirus” was one of the most frequently used nouns in all of the English language. The use of the word “pandemic” has increased by more than 57,000 per cent this year. Words such as “pre-COVID“, “post-COVID” and even “covidiot” also saw a rise.

While “Moonshot“, the name of the UK government’s programme for mass coronavirus testing, came into use in September, the word “superspreader” saw a spike in use after a cluster of COVID-19 cases at the White House in October.

Words related to work

Words such as “remote” and “remotely” saw an increase of over 300 per cent in use since March. “On mute” and “unmute” saw “a significant rise” of 500 per cent this year.

Workation” (a holiday in which you work) and “staycation” (a holiday at home) also increased drastically in 2020.

Zoombombing” (the practice of infiltrating video conference calls on the Zoom application, and posting violent, pornographic or offensive content) and “Blursday” (a day of the week that is indistinguishable from any other) also made it to the list.

Other words

In the early months of 2020, usage of “impeachment” and “acquittal” was on the rise, and “mail-in” has seen an increase of 3,000%. Use of “Black Lives Matter” and “BLM” also surged, as did the term “QAnon”.

The phrase “conspiracy theory”, meanwhile, has almost doubled in usage between October 2019 and October 2020. Use of “Brexit”, however, has dropped by 80% this year.

The Oxford Dictionary had named “climate emergency” and “toxic” as word of the year 2019 and 2018 respectively.

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