‘NFT’ named word of the year by Collins Dictionary

‘NFT’ beat a string of Covid-19-related terms such as ‘double-vaxxed’ and ‘pingdemic’

A Google search for NFTs on a computer screen                                 
Numerous words of the year were influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic – Photo:Alamy
                                

The Collins Dictionary has named NFT’, the abbreviation for non-fungible token, as the 2021 word of the year.

The Collins English Dictionary is a printed and online dictionary of English.

Collins stated: “This convergence of money and the internet leads us to 2021’s word of the year.”

The dictionary describes NFT as “a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible”.

Plenty of well-known sports teams, individuals and brands have launched NFTs during the past year.

These include Lionel Messi, the Paris Saint-Germain footballer, World Wrestling Entertainment, well-known fashion brands like Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci, and boxing legend and Filipino politician Manny Pacquiao, who is currently running to be president of the Philippines.

Covid-19 influence

Numerous words of the year were influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as ’double-vaxxed’, which made the Collins Word of the Year 2021 shortlist. Double-vaxxed refers to a person who has received two doses of the Covid vaccine.

’Hybrid working’ is also on the list, the term used to describe when employees spend their work week both in the office and at home. This way of working has been made popular by the pandemic.

’Pingdemic’ was also mentioned, a word coined by the media to describe the epidemic of absences from work caused by ’pings’ from apps that warned users if they had been in close contact with a person infected with the Covid-19 virus.

Other words that made the list were neopronoun, defined by Collins as “a novel way of referring to someone without using their name, particularly in order to avoid traditional markers of gender”.

’Cheugy’, a word used to cast aspersions on something that’s now regarded as clunky, out of date and embarrassing, also made an appearance.

Abbreviation choice “unusual”

Alex Beecroft, managing director of Collins Learning, part of Collins Dictionary, told the BBC it is “unusual” for an abbreviation to see such a huge rise in the amount of usage it is receiving.

Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year,” Beecroft said.

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