Search on Narcity

The Oxford English Dictionary's 'Words Of The Year' Are Painfully On Brand For 2020

Lockdown, anti-mask, defund, social distancing and staycation were all included!
Trending Editor
Oxford English Dictionary's 'Words Of The Year' Are Painfully On Brand For 2020
Suneth Rathnayake | Dreamstime, Philafrenzy | Wikimedia

After a seriously strange year so far, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has released their “words of the year” for 2020.

While the iconic dictionary usually chooses just one word for their annual round-up, it seems 2020 was too “unprecedented” to sum it up in the traditional way.

"It quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single 'word of the year,'" the OED explained on November 22.

Instead, loads of different words, terms and phrases were chosen — and they're so on-brand for the year we've had!

Editor's Choice:The CRA Says Up To 213,000 Canadians May Have To Pay Back Their CERB Payments

The English language, like all of us, has had to adapt rapidly and repeatedly this year. Oxford English Dictionary

Words on the list included, “bushfire,” “impeachment” and “Black Lives Matter,” as well as "defund," “cancel culture” and “mail-in.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, plenty of pandemic-related terms made the list, too.

"Lockdown," "social distancing" and "reopening," were all included, as well as “anti-mask,” “staycation,” "unmute" and “superspreader."

It's not uncommon for the OED's word of the year to reflect the year's standout events and moments.

In 2018, the chosen phrase was "toxic," while in 2019 it was "climate emergency."

What a year, eh?

    Helena Hanson
    Trending Editor
    Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Canada's Trending Desk focused on major news. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.
Recommended For You