Conspiracy theories continued to figure prominently in 2020, including the rise of the online conspiracy theory of QAnon and false information promoted by President Donald Trump on the legitimacy of mail-in voting and U.S. elections. These derived forms reveal how quickly we adapted to social distancing in our behavior—and grammar. While pandemic rose to the top of the many words that drove both the search and lexicographical activity on Dictionary.com this year, 2020 barraged us, month after month, with unprecedented occurrences. The lists of Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year (for each year) are ten-word lists published annually by the American dictionary-publishing company Merriam-Webster, Inc., which feature the ten words of the year from the English language. Use of “Black Lives Matter” and “BLM” also surged, as did the term “QAnon”, up by 5,716% on last year. In addition to shortened forms like rona and quar, we saw a slew of puns, blends, novel expressions, and other new words for a new normal. Searches related to Trump’s impeachment led lookups on our site in January, but none was more dominant than pettifogging. But by April this year it had become "one of the most frequently used nouns in the English language, exceeding even the usage of the word time. Video, Gaming for God: London’s live-streaming vicar, Musk loses world's richest title as Tesla falters, Canadian butter 'changes' churn up concerns, Prince Philip to stay in hospital with infection, Texas train in flames after crossing collision, Clinton to publish US political thriller novel, Bobby Shmurda released from prison after six years, US arrests El Chapo's wife over 'drug trafficking', Intensive care and other key terms explained. Your 2021 Word of the Year. The term was suddenly everywhere, from store signage requiring us to social distance to text messages about socially distanced hangouts. Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. Civics 101: What is the difference between absentee voting and mail-voting? In the past 20 years, social distancing was scientific jargon, but 2020 had us all talking like Dr. Fauci. Is it worth tracking your carbon footprint? less, One of the most relatable experiences in 2020 established its popular name this year: doomscrolling, a term popularized by journalist Karen Ho for the act of compulsively checking social media for more bad news. pandemic: life upended, language transformed. The Collins Word of the Year 2020 is... lockdown ‘Lockdown’ , the containment measure implemented by governments around the world to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, has been named the Collins Word of … Dictionary.com observed a huge wave of interest for the word unprecedented from March to June, corresponding with the first wave of the pandemic across the globe. They include bushfires, Covid-19, WFH, lockdown, circuit-breaker, support bubbles, keyworkers, furlough, Black Lives Matter and moonshot. less. Why Do Babies Around The World Say “Mama”? Nominations for Words of the Year can be submitted all year long to woty@americandialect.org. The term superspreader became increasingly prevalent as the month went on as easing restrictions, students on campus, a higher tolerance for risk in the populace, and pandemic fatigue created more opportunities for the disease to spread. Debbie Harris’ word for 2020 was Jump, while Elisabeth McKnight says that “A word of the year sets to your … Word of The Year 2021. From our perspective as documenters of the English language, one word kept running through the profound and manifold ways our lives have been upended—and our language so rapidly transformed—in this unprecedented year. What Is So Romantic About The Romance Languages? Also noteworthy are self-quarantine and the many slang inventions based on quarantine. Last modified on Sun 5 Jan 2020 21.19 EST. Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Lent: What Do They All Mean? Other extreme weather in 2020 included a hyperactive hurricane season in the Atlantic and a devastating derecho in the Midwest. Despite its hardships, the pandemic inspired the best of our humanity: resilience and resourcefulness in the face of struggle. From a global pandemic, protests and riots in parts of the United States, national and local elections, online learning and remote work, describing 2020 in just a word or two seems like a daunting task. © 2021 BBC. On May 7, social media companies removed a video called Plandemic from their platforms. The largest spike, an astronomical 160,000% increase compared to 2019, occurred on June 9 with headlines that both President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden opposed defunding the police. After you have chosen your word of the year 2021, it’s time to put it into practice. Shutterstock. more. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. So too mail-in and conspiracy theory - not because the conspiracy theories about mail-in ballots are new or true, but rather because they are espoused by the most famous person in the world, in Donald J Trump. Black Lives Matter - BLM - was in usage before George Floyd was killed; but today it has penetrated our public domain as never before. The report said that levels of media coverage for climate change have fallen this year due to the pandemic. As the meaning and implications of defund were debated in the public discourse, searches for defund in June surged 1,500 times their previously monthly average. What is YOUR word of the year? Its words are chosen to reflect 2020's "ethos, mood, or preoccupations". At Dictionary.com, the task of choosing a single word to sum up 2020—a year roiled by a public health crisis, an economic downturn, racial injustice, climate disaster, political division, and rampant disinformation—was a challenging and humbling one. Ding-ding-ding: Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. Isn't now exactly the moment when we should be using Brexit more than ever? more. For all its eventfulness, 2020 has for many been a lost year, in several senses of the word: On top of an enormous loss of human lives, the pandemic paused many … We’re continuing to monitor this shifting term, however, especially with regards to concerns about its sexism. less, No other term quite so specifically captures how the pandemic transformed life and language in 2020 than social distancing. Quarantine was named the first-ever Word of the Year by our multi-language sister site, Lexico. Far and away, this adjective, meaning “never before known or experienced,” burgeoned in common parlance to characterize the many extraordinary events of the year. All languages evolve, but the rate of evolution has sped up today. Published on Jan 2, 2020 Pastor Tom Deuschle of Celebration Churches International in Harare, Zimbabwe delivers the "Word of the Year" for 2020 on New Year… With such a whirlwind of news in 2020, it’s easy to forget that the year opened with a historic episode all its own: the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. To acknowledge the multitude of other terms that directed our users’ interests and our work as a dictionary, we think it’s worth reviewing notable words that spiked or spoke to the unrest and transformation of this indelible year. Based upon a statistical analysis of words that are looked up in extremely high numbers in our online dictionary while also showing a significant year-over-year increase in traffic, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2020 is pandemic. Untrue and misleading statements from Trump in the runup to Election Day also led some critics and political observers to designate him a metaphorical superspreader of falsehoods. Follow Jen on Instagram at @JenniferFulwiler and add her new comedy special to your watchlist on Amazon Prime! What Does It Mean To Ask Someone To Be Your “Valentine”? Should I wear a face covering in the supermarket? We asked you to submit your choice for the word you think best sums up 2020—and you answered. And we thought 2019 was an existential year …. more. 2020: Covid, referring to the Covid 19 pandemic. COVID-19. more. Dictionary.Com’s Ominous Word of the Year Should Inspire Us to Take 2020 by Storm Mary Grace Garis ・ December 4, 2019 Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on pinterest Share on email Specialized lingo, spanning topics from epidemiology to social behavior, formed a shared—and ever-expanding—glossary for daily life. Can you guess which word won our People’s Choice 2020 Word of the Year contest? To ensure people could vote safely amid a pandemic, many states broadened qualifications around absentee voting. The word reopening also increased in frequency as summer approached, relating to the number of shopping outlets that were closed during lockdown, while moonshot came into use, as the name of the UK government's programme for mass Covid testing. Without a doubt, the pandemic affected all of us, all over the world, in nearly all aspects of our lives. Looking for other ways to say unprecedented? The Saddest Phrases In The English Language. less, The impeachment trial of President Trump continued to top trends in February. It was unfathomable that, by the year’s end, the word pandemic would become part of our everyday speech to the point of overfamiliarity, even fatigue. Here is what the word means to me and you can read more to find out some of my routines. But at the same time, our choice was overwhelmingly clear. What was crowned the People’s Choice 2020 Word of the Year? 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