Word of The Year 2020, ‘Lockdown’

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Collins Dictionary has named ‘lockdown’ as its ‘Word of the Year 2020’ given the most use of it worldwide amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic, reports the Guardian.

According to lexicographer records, the word ‘Lockdown’ is so far used 2,50,000 times this year. Last year the use of it was just 4000. So during the pandemic, it has witnessed exponential growth.

Of the reason behind the pick of work, Helen Newstead, a language content consultant at Collins said, ‘language is a reflection of the world around us and 2020 has been dominated by the global pandemic. Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialize.’

She added, ‘with many countries entering a second lockdown, it is not a word of the year to celebrate but it is, perhaps, one that sums up the year for most of the world.’

In the run up to choose the best word of the year 2020, the dictionary shortlisted 10 words of which majority related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other corona pandemic related words on the shortlist are Furlough, key worker, self-isolate, social distancing and coronavirus.

The other words in the top 10 are BLM (an abbreviation of Black Lives Matter), Megxit (used for the withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties), TikToker (someone who shares content on the popular Chinese social media platform TikTok) and Mukbang (Someone who broadcasts videos of themselves eating large quantities of good; the term originated in South Korea).

Last year, the Collins Dictionary ‘Word of the Year was ‘climate strike’ which took off due to the climate protests by school students around the world, primarily led by 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

Over the last six years spanning from 2018 to 2013, Collins chose the following words as the words of years : for 2018, it was Single-use, 2017: Fake news, 2016: Brexit, 2015: Binge-watch (meaning : watch multiple episodes of (a television programme) in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming), 2014: Photo-bomb and for 2013, it was Geek (meanings : 1. an unfashionable or socially inept person; 2. engage in or discuss computer-related tasks obsessively or with great attention to technical detail.)

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