CAPE TOWN- Collins Dictionary has chosen “lockdown” as its Word of The Year in 2020 after a sharp rise in its usage during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lexicographers at the major publisher registered more than 250,000 usages of “lockdown” this year, compared with only 4,000 last year.
Lockdown is defined by Collins as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.
The word became commonly used as governments around the world responded to the Covid-19 outbreak in the first few months of 2020 by placing strict measure to stop transmission of the virus.
In an online release the publishers said: “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 registered over a quarter of a million usages of ‘lockdown’ during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year.”
Collins’ previous words of the year include climate strike in 2019, single-use in 2018, fake news in 2017, and Brexit in 2016.
Other pandemic-linked terms on the top ten list include “self-isolate” “TikToker” and “social distancing”.
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