Words of the Year

From Daily Writing Tips:

Since the 1990s–beginning with the American Dialect Society—various entities, including dictionaries and individual lexicographers, have announced Words of the Year in English. (The Germans started their Wort des Jahres in 1971.)

In 2021, the US dictionary, Merriam-Webster, and the British dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, are almost on the same page.

For M-W, the word of the year is vaccine. which has been given a revised definition to include the new kinds of vaccination made possible with RNA.

For the OED, the word vax is the choice, along with its related forms:

vax (noun): a vaccine or vaccination
vax (verb): to treat with a vaccination to produce immunity against a disease
vaxxie: (noun) a photograph of oneself taken during or immediately before or after a vaccination, especially one against Covid-19, and typically shared on social media; a vaccination selfie.
anti-vax: (adjective) opposed to vaccination
anti-vaxxer: (noun) a person who is opposed to vaccination
double-vaxxed: (adjective) having received two doses of a vaccine

Another British dictionary, Collins, has chosen the initialism NFT as its number one word in a list of ten words of the year.

NFT: (noun) non-fungible token—a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or collectible; an asset whose ownership is recorded by means of a non-fungible token.

The other nine words on the Collins list include three pandemic-related words:

double-vaxxed: (adjective) having received two doses of a vaccine.

pingdemic: (noun) the epidemic of absences from work caused by “pings” from apps that warned users if they’d been in close contact with an infected person.

hybrid working: (noun) the practice of alternating between different working environments, such as from home and in an office.

Link to the rest at Daily Writing Tips

1 thought on “Words of the Year”

  1. These lists date quickly but, from a British perspective, the OED was already behind the times by November when the Covid related words of the moment had became “Omicron” and “boosted”. As for Collins, I suspect that the greater part of the population has never heard of “NFT”, and those that have are either fools, people trying to extract money from fools (or sometimes hoping to find a greater fool) or Kipling fan’s muttering about the “God’s of the Copybook Headings”.

    Still, it was nice to see genre fiction making the Collins list with “Regencycore (noun) a distinctive fashion aesthetic inspired by Georgian styles”, even if only by way of a TV adaptation. Pity that it’s a rather ugly word and that the reference to “Georgian styles#” is odd, given both the word itself and that the Brigerton series is set slap bang in the middle of the Regency.

    (#I do realise that some define the Georgian period to run from 1714 to 1830 or 1837 but fashion changed so much in this time that to talk of a Georgian style is pretty meaningless).

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