Posted on November 1, 2021 at 10:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

2020 was an unprecedented year in many ways large and small, and among the latter type was the lack of an Oxford University Press word of the year.

But this year, we’re back to normalcy in that arena.

And unsurprisingly, the OED’s word of the year relates to the COVID-19 pandemic: “vax.”

The OUP has an animated graphic showing the word’s rise in frequency from September 2020 to September 2021 and notes that it has spawned a number of related expressions, like “vax sites,” “vax cards,” “getting vaxxed,” and “being fully vaxxed.”

The Oxford Word of the Year is, in its administrators’ words, the one that “is judged to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance.”

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