London: The word ‘lockdown’ which has been highly used this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been declared as the Collins Word of the Year 2020, as reported by PTI.
The dictionary defines the word as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.
“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,” Collins was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Language Content Consultant Helen Newstead 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 socialise. 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,” quotes Odisha Bytes.
It further stated, “The restrictions placed on how we move about and interact with one another arguably had the most impact. And they’re represented first and foremost by social distancing, a concept now so pervasive that it has also entered the language as a verb ‘to socially distance’,” as stated by Outlook.
Collins registered over a quarter of a million usages of the word ‘lockdown’ during 2020, while only 4,000 in the previous year.
Several other words related to pandemic have a took position in the long list of Collins’ Top 10 words of the year, such as ‘furlough’ or the temporary laying-off of employees, and ‘self-isolate’, or to quarantine oneself.
Words such as ‘Megxit’ which relates to the exit of Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle from the British Royal Family and ‘BLM’ or Black Lives Matter which was the huge global anti-racism movement were also included in the keywords.
The word ‘mukbang’ which originated from Korea, defined as “a video or webcast in which the host noisily eats a large quantity of food for the entertainment of viewers,” was also added in the Collins words of the year.