Society and culture influence the words that we use. As society changes, language constantly evolves to reflect our reality. Never has this been truer than in 2020, which witnessed a series of unprecedented events, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the past year, many a new word and phrase was coined or came into fashion, becoming so widespread that they are now set to enter dictionaries around the world. Below are the terms that give a glimpse into the extraordinary year that we all lived through.
Covidiot, a combination of COVID and idiot, refers to people who stubbornly ignore social distancing rules designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as those who hoard groceries unnecessarily, depriving others of vital supplies. This word has been added to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary.
This humorous word describes how individual days during the COVID-19 pandemic began to all blur into one. The word has been added to the Collins Online Dictionary.
Similar to how the world was stricken by the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals also found themselves increasingly turning to shopping for a little retail therapy during the crisis. The word has been included in the Collins Online Dictionary.
A portmanteau of lockdown and nostalgia, this new word, which has been added to the Collins Online Dictionary, refers to the feeling of nostalgia that some may feel for the relatively simpler life experienced during a COVID-19 lockdown.
Twindemic refers to the potential dual threat of a severe flu outbreak on top of the COVID-19 pandemic anticipated during the fall and winter of 2020. The Collins Online Dictionary and Dictionary.com have both approved this new word.
A coupling of quarantine and Martini, quarantini describes any alcoholic cocktail consumed during a lockdown. While the word may seem inextricably linked to the novel coronavirus, it actually made its debut 15 years ago in an episode of U.S. medical comedy series Scrubs. The word has been added to the Macmillan Dictionary and the Collins Online Dictionary.
Blending the two words mask and asshole, this word refers to those people who refuse to wear a mask in public during the COVID-19 crisis. This word has been added to the Macmillan Dictionary and the Collins Online Dictionary.
A sharent is a parent who regularly uses social media to overshare information about their children online. First appearing in 2013 in the British daily newspaper The Guardian, the word is now included in the Macmillan Dictionary and the Collins Online Dictionary.
Combining technology and backlash, techlash naturally reveals a strong negative reaction or backlash against popular technology companies or their employees or products. This word has entered the Collins Online Dictionary.
Having nothing to do with the animal of the same name, the capitalized GOAT is an acronym for greatest of all time and is used to describe the person who has out-achieved everyone else who has come before, especially in a sport. This word has been added to the Cambridge Dictionary.
WFH, an acronym for work from home, has been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and captures how many of us worked during coronavirus lockdowns.
This humorous way to spell am I right? is often used following an opinion or a joke, and invites people to agree with you or to mock you. Dictionary.com has added the term to its existing entries.
Nothing to do with a new kind of hamburger, this slang refers to an often highly publicized event or situation that is said to have had less impact or significance than expected. The word has been added to Dictionary.com.
# Empty Suit
The slang implies an executive, manager, or official with the appearance of authority, importance, or significance but who in reality is completely ineffectual, incompetent, or lacking in leadership qualities such as creativity and empathy. The phrase can now be found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Dictionary.com.
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