Lockdown, the restraint benchmark enforced by governments around the world to diminish the spread of Covid-19, has been quoted the Collins Word of the Year 2020. According to the dictionary, lockdown is described as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.
“Our lexicographers selected lockdown as Word of the Year because it is a united experience for billions of people across the world, who have had to play their part in combating the spread of Covid-19 together,” Collins said.“Language is a reflection of the world around us and 2020 has been overwhelmed by the global pandemic,” said Helen Newstead, language range advisor at Collins.
“Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialize. 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,” she said. The dictionary said it registered over a quarter of a million usages of the word lockdown during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year.
Several other words associated with the epidemic are comprised in Collins’ long checklist of the top 10 words of the year, which contain furlough or the temporary laying-off of employees, because there isn’t adequate work to engage them and self-isolate, or to quarantine oneself if one has or suspects transmittable disease. The word coronavirus is there too, with an exceptional 35,000-fold boost in use year-on-year, and described as any of the group of viruses that generate infectious illnesses of the respiratory organs, including Covid-19. But the social consequences of the shifts to conduct and the human way of life conquer the list for the year.
“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’,” Collins states.
However, the dictionary indicates that 2020 was not all about the epidemic. MBLM or Black Lives Matter, the huge global anti-racism movement, was one of the other keywords. Moreover, there is the word “making” all the way from Korea, which represents a video or webcast in which the broadcaster noisily eats a large quantity of food for the amusement of viewers.