Oxford English Dictionary Skips 2020 ‘Word of the Year’
It turns out there's not a single word in the Oxford English Dictionary that can best describe and summarize the year 2020.
Traditionally, the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year is "a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 12 months." To give you perspective, The OED named "climate emergency" as word of the year in 2019, and "toxic" in 2018.
This year, the OED is breaking tradition, not being able to name one single word to call the word of the year for 2020.. "It quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single 'word of the year,'" the OED said, with the language adapting "rapidly and repeatedly" this year as we as country have grown through soooo much.
- January - "bushfire" from when Australia suffered its worst fire season on record
- February - "acquittal" when US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial ended.
- March - terms related to coronavirus pandemic start to dominate our language including "Covid-19," a completely new word. It was first recorded on February 11.
- April / May - "lockdown," "social distancing" and "reopening."
- June - "Black Lives Matter" exploded, followed by "cancel culture" and "BIPOC," an abbreviation of "Black, indigenous and other people of color."
- August - "Mail-in" and "Belarusian" referring to mail-in voting for the US election and the controversial reelection of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, respectively.
- September - "Moonshot," the name the UK government gave to its mass coronavirus testing program
- October - "net zero" and "superspreader." Net zero refers to Chinese President Xi Jinping's pledge that the country will be carbon neutral by 2060. The word superspreader dates back to the 1970s and saw a spike again after a cluster of Covid-19 cases at the White House.