Vax Is The Word Of The Year

November 12, 2021

If you could pick one word for the title of “Word of the Year,” what would it be? Tough, right? Well, tough or not, Oxford Languages, the folks who produce the Oxford English Dictionary, does it every year. This year, the word of the year is … drum roll please … “vax”—short for vaccine, vaccination, or vaccinate. Surprised? Probably not. It’s one of the most searched for words last year, and we can see why given how important it is to get vaxxed with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Interesting Fact: You would think that the word COVID-19 was the word of the year last year, but it wasn’t. According to Oxford Languages, there was no word of the year, but rather words of the month. Scratching your head as to why? It turns out that depending on the month, the search for and use of specific words spiked depending on what was happening around the world. In January, for example, the most used word was “bushfire,” for when Australia was battling some of the largest bushfires the country had ever seen, whereas in June it was the phrase “Black Lives Matter” when protests exploded around the world after the murder of a Black man named George Floyd by policemen.