Coronavirus

Lockdown is named Collins Dictionary’s 2020 word of the year

2020 will be remembered as the year our lives were stopped in motion by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s not just every facet of our lives that have been affected — how we speak and the words we use have also changed.

So it’s no surprise that Collins Dictionary has chosen “lockdown” as its word of the year.

Its use rose sharply during the pandemic. Collins registered more than 250,000 usages of “lockdown” during 2020, compared with only 4,000 the previous year.

Other pandemic-linked words also made the shortlist such as keyworker, social distancing, self-isolate and Furlough.

Euronews spoke to Helen Newstead, who is Head of Language Content at Harper Collins.

She says a vast database of language containing some 13 billion words was used alongside a panel to help whittle down a shortlist.

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