By Mary Rose Corkery
The 2020 word of the year is “lockdown,” which was used more than a quarter of a million times amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Collins Dictionary.
Lockdown was also on a “longer list of ten words of the year” and many of them were “related to the pandemic,” according to the company website. The British dictionary named “climate strike” the word of the year in 2019, The New York Post reported.
“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,” according to the company website.
“Collins registered over a quarter of a million usages of ‘lockdown’ during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year,” according to the company website.
The other words for the year included coronavirus, BLM, which stands for Black Lives Matter, furlough, TikToker, key worker, social distancing, Megxit, muckbang and self-isolate, according to a Harper Collins Publishers press release provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Coronavirus saw a “35,000-fold increase in use year-on-year,” according to a company blog post.
“Language is a reflection of the world around us and 2020 has been dominated by the global pandemic. We have chosen ‘lockdown’ as our word of the year because it encapsulates the shared experience of billions of people who have had to restrict their daily lives in order to contain the virus,” Helen Newstead, language content consultant at Collins said in the press release.
“Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialize. 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,” Newstead said.
The word BLM’s use rose 581% and was mostly utilized as a social media hashtag and for reporting and talks about protests following George Floyd’s death, according to the press release. George Floyd’s death also “brought new awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
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