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'Lockdown' is word of the year for Collins Dictionary

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on November 10, 2020 Published on November 10, 2020

Other words related to Covid, including coronavirus, make it to list of top ten

Collins Dictionary has named ‘lockdown’ the word of the year.

“‘Lockdown’, the containment measure implemented by governments around the world to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has been named the Collins Word of the Year 2020,” Collins said in a blog post on Tuesday.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, people have been mandated to stay at home for the most part of this year in a ‘lockdown.’ This has led to the usage of the word increasing tremendously over the year as compared to last year.

Quarter of a million usages

“Our lexicographers chose ‘lockdown’ as Word of the Year because it is a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had, collectively, to play their part in combating the spread of Covid-19. Collins registered over a quarter of a million usages of ‘lockdown’ during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year,” it said.

Several other words related to the Covid-19 pandemic, including ‘coronavirus’, have made it to the dictionary’s list of top ten words of the year.

The word ‘coronavirus’ has seen a 35,000-fold increase in use year-on-year in usage, Collins said. Other words related to the pandemic on the list include ‘social distancing,’ ‘self-isolate’ and ‘furlough’ and ‘key worker(s).’

Key workers included doctors, nurses, postal staff, and maintenance workers, among others, on the frontline during the pandemic.

“The impulse to show how grateful we all were took physical form in terms of clapping on the doorstep, but also came through in countless messages on social media, which contributed to a 60-fold increase in usage compared with 2019,” Collins said in the blog post.

Megxit, BLM, et al

Other words on the list included words derived from social trends such as ‘Megxit,’ the term used to describe “Harry and Meghan’s decision to stand down as senior members of the royal family.” With the rising popularity and multiple controversies around short video platform TikTok, ‘Tiktoker’ has also made it to the list.

Taking note of the social issues, ‘BLM’ short for Black Lives Matter, a significant social movement this year is also one of the top ten words of the year.

Apart from this, a social media trend, ‘mukbang,’ which means “a video or webcast in which the host eats a large quantity of food for the entertainment of viewers” has also made it to the list.

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Published on November 10, 2020
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