“LOCKDOWN” has been declared the word of the year for 2020 by Collins Dictionary, after a sharp rise in its usage during the pandemic.
It “encapsulates the shared experience of billions of people”, Collins said.
Lexicographers registered more than 250,000 usages of “lockdown” during 2020, up from just 4,000 last year.
Other pandemic-linked terms on the 10-strong list include “furlough”, “key worker”, “self-isolate” and “social distancing” as well as “coronavirus”.
According to the dictionary, lockdown is defined as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.
t came into common parlance as governments around the world responded to the spread of Covid-19 in early 2020 by placing strict measure to stop transmission of the virus.
Non-virus related words to make the list reflect the social and political upheavals of 2020.
Following the death of the unarmed black man George Floyd in the US the abbreviation “BLM”, for the Black Lives Matter movement, features having registered a 581% increase in usage, according to Collins.
Last year’s Collins word of the year was “climate strike”, marking a year in which 17-year-old Greta Thunberg led a global environmental movement.