Everyday life was forced into quarantine. 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. The pandemic has wreaked social and economic disruption on a historic scale and scope, globally impacting every sector of society—not to mention its emotional and psychological toll. On January 22, one day after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S., Chief Justice John Roberts referenced this rare, unusual term when he admonished officials while presiding over the trial. All previous winners are listed here. Early on, quarantine was especially used in its technical sense of “a strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of a disease,” but as the crisis unfolded, it extended as a general term for staying at home. What's more striking to me is how the news cycle generates new phrases and usages. Other extreme weather in 2020 included a hyperactive hurricane season in the Atlantic and a devastating derecho in the Midwest. Its words are chosen to reflect 2020's "ethos, mood, or preoccupations". By June, for millions of people across the globe, the urgent need for change transcended the risks of mass gatherings during a pandemic—a need perhaps intensified by the hardships of COVID-19, which have disproportionately hurt people of color. 1. Another new year, but this one feels different than ever before. Searches related to Trump’s impeachment led lookups on our site in January, but none was more dominant than pettifogging. Record wildfires ravaged the West Coast along with other extreme climate episodes. 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. The experience of such a welter of uncertainty and change—even as many of us were hunkered down at home—was jolting and disorienting. Out of thousands of compelling submissions, one word rose to top. 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. In true Australian fashion, we started using this shortened … The COVID-19 epidemic precipitated into a true pandemic. 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. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk. Bushfire. Searches for pettifogging soared 62,600% on January 22, climbing to over 60 times its previous monthly average. From a lexical perspective, particularly noteworthy about Karen is how swiftly and widely—though not uncontentiously—the term was adopted into the mainstream vernacular as a way to call out white privilege. My word for 2020 is routine. more. Boosted by growing user interest in the term, the prominence of superspreader, both literally and figuratively, prompted our editors to prioritize the word as a part of a second batch of COVID-19 updates to Dictionary.com this year. I want to be with my family, I want to be in my creative/generative zone of genius. 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. Both words have seen increase in usage, almost 500% and 380% respectively. In 2000, jazz was selected as "Word of the 20th Century", and she as "Word of the Past Millennium". The year of 2020 is the year of laying the foundation. Last modified on Sun 5 Jan 2020 21.19 EST. Fri 3 Jan 2020 23.32 EST. "We saw new words emerge, and historical words resurface with new significance, as the English language developed rapidly to keep pace with the political upheaval and societal tensions that defined the year," they added. Follow Jen on Instagram at @JenniferFulwiler and add her new comedy special to your watchlist on Amazon Prime! 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… Video, The sports star who could afford just one meal a day, The 'colourful' lives lost to Covid. Corona (from coronavirus) and Zoom (from a leading video communication platform) were especially productive in forming neologisms. On February 5, the same day a cruise ship quarantined off Japan in one of the then-largest outbreaks outside China, the Senate voted along party lines to acquit Trump of the charges against him. 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. The month opened with staggering news: President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus. US linguists have chosen “they” as their word of the decade, recognising the growing use of … While some erupted into violent clashes with police and counter-protestors, demonstrations were largely safe and peaceful, and spurred a reckoning with deep-seated racial inequality in the U.S. All of this flux was reflected in search data and user interest on Dictionary.com. What is YOUR word of the year? more. We asked you to submit your choice for the word you think best sums up 2020—and you answered. COVID-19. 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. Usage of Black Lives Matter and BLM surged following the death of George Floyd in the US. Shutterstock. It's inevitable that the pandemic should have rescued old words (coronavirus), super-charged some that were loitering in our culture (furlough), and - in the case of Covid - created a neologism. 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. After you have chosen your word of the year 2021, it’s time to put it into practice. And just four days earlier on September 18, the country was rattled by the death of influential and iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Our Synonym of the Day has you covered. 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. I … Specialized lingo, spanning topics from epidemiology to social behavior, formed a shared—and ever-expanding—glossary for daily life. Redefine your inbox with Dictionary.com updates! At the end of each decade, the society also chooses a Word of the Decade: web for the 1990s, google (as a verb) for the 2000s, and singular they for the 2010s. Also noteworthy are self-quarantine and the many slang inventions based on quarantine. In a period of just a few weeks in the spring, the pandemic introduced a host of new and newly prominent words that, normally, only public health professionals knew and used. less, The tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 marked another inflection point in 2020. NEW YORK – If you were to choose a word that rose above most in 2020, which word would it be? Americans voted, early and by mail like never before, in an impassioned presidential election. This year, Dictionary.com broke its own record with 15,000 updates to existing entries and 650 new words added to keep up with the rapid pace of 2020. That day, searches for conspiracy theory on our site were vaulted up 2,600%, hitting 13 times their previous average by month’s end. Our team of expert lexicographers have captured and analysed this lexical data every step of the way. To ensure people could vote safely amid a pandemic, many states broadened qualifications around absentee voting. As the dictionary website explained, their update speaks to the way the "unprecedented events of 2020, from the pandemic to the protests, have profoundly changed our lives—and language." Here are Oxford's 2020 Words of an Unprecedented Year, and to see what words you should ditch, here are 4 Words the Dictionary Says You Should Stop Using. Notable in this set was defund, whose use in the slogan Defund the Police became a rallying cry for many protestors—and a lightning rod for backlash against them. 5. We’re continuing to monitor this shifting term, however, especially with regards to concerns about its sexism. more. Kamala Harris achieved the unprecedented, the first female, first Black, and first South Asian to be declared Vice President-elect—even as President Trump, in an unprecedented move in modern history, refused to acknowledge the election results. 2020 Word of the Year is “Covid” December 17, 2020; Nominations for Words of the Year 2020 December 17, 2020; Register for the free 2020 Virtual Word-of-the-Year Livestream Vote November 17, 2020 If you keep a bullet journal or planner, the first thing I like to do is dedicate one page to my word. Schools, business, cities, even entire countries locked down. Why Dictionary.com Chose This Word To Describe 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the first caused by a coronavirus. One of the most telling signs of the ascendancy of this slang term came on July 16, when Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany a Karen after the secretary called the mayor “derelict” for her response to protests in her city. “Sparkling Water” vs. “Seltzer” vs. “Club Soda”: What’s The Difference? Some serious synonyms for pettifogging await on Thesaurus.com. This year has seen so many seismic events that Oxford Dictionaries has expanded its word of the year to encompass several "Words of an Unprecedented Year". While we had been watching doomscrolling since the spring in the context of COVID-19, the term really asserted its staying power in the lexicon in August as people gawked at image after image of the apocalyptically orange skies over the Bay Area due to another year of record-breaking, climate-intensified wildfires in the region. After the killing of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter sparked a powerful reckoning with racism. Black Lives Matter - BLM - was in usage before George Floyd was killed; but today it has penetrated our public domain as never before. more. pic.twitter.com/zhjRyokKD5, — Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) July 16, 2020. “Vaccinate” vs. “Inoculate” vs. “Immunize”: What Are The Differences? The report also said use of conspiracy theory has "almost doubled between October 2019 and October 2020" and use of the term QAnon increased 960% during that time. less, In a year when facts about COVID-19 had life-and-death consequences, 2020 also saw the troubling spread of conspiracy theories—including from the highest office in the land. Searches crested at nearly 800% their 2019 levels in the last week of March as lockdowns went into force across many U.S. states, and remained considerably above average through much of the year. less, In 2020, the slang insult Karen went from an internet meme to a cultural touchstone of the year. These word lists started in 2003 and have been published at the end of each year. less. Quarantine was named the first-ever Word of the Year by our multi-language sister site, Lexico. The sports star who could afford just one meal a day. the George Floyd Protests powerfully changed search trends on Dictionary.com. They divided their findings into specific areas: The report said the word coronavirus dates back to the 60s and was previously "mainly used by scientific and medical specialists". What was crowned the People’s Choice 2020 Word of the Year? What happens to your body in extreme heat? Here it is, January. Without a doubt, the pandemic affected all of us, all over the world, in nearly all aspects of our lives. Committee's Choice Macquarie Dictionary COVID Word of the Year 2020: rona And for our second Word of the Year for 2020, we have selected rona, a shortening of coronavirus a.k.a. Word of the Year 2020 The Oxford Languages 2020 Word of the Year campaign looks a little different to previous years. Read about our approach to external linking. That usage of Brexit should be down by 80% even as we enter its most critical phase shows that, sadly, the limited bandwidth of news programmes and human attention can harm priorities. 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. Despite its hardships, the pandemic inspired the best of our humanity: resilience and resourcefulness in the face of struggle. Out of thousands of compelling submissions, one word rose to top. "It's both unprecedented and a little ironic - in a year that left us speechless, 2020 has been filled with new words unlike any other.". What Does It Mean To Ask Someone To Be Your “Valentine”? Well, what a year it has been. And major European countries imposed new lockdowns as they confronted a second wave. Floss, VAR or Vegan? Some terms like "essential" and "pandemic" were words … Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Dictionaries, said: "I've never witnessed a year in language like the one we've just had. On November 9, Pfizer announced 90% effectiveness for a COVID-19 vaccine in early results, a promising sign in an effort unprecedented in its speed and scale. Striking timeline of life under COVID-19 with staggering news: President Trump tested positive for the coronavirus became.... 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