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Oxford English Dictionary picks several words of the year for 'unprecedented' 2020

Oxford English Dictionary
Posted at 3:05 PM, Nov 23, 2020

For the first time, the Oxford English Dictionary has released several words for its annual "Word of the Year" because it's 2020. With everything that has happened this year, the dictionary said it selected words that saw significant spikes in searches during certain months.

On Monday, the dictionary released its "Words of an Unprecedented Year" report saying that 2020 was "not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single "word of the year," so they came up with words that saw spikes in searches during certain months."

For January, the word was "bushfire" because of Australia's worst bushfire season on record.

"Impeachment" also was influential in January because that's when President Donald Trump's impeachment trial began.

In February, "acquittal" peaked since that's when President Trump's impeachment trial ended.

In March, words about the coronavirus pandemic dominated, like "COVID-19," "lockdown," "social distancing," and "reopening."

In June, it was the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

For August, it was "mail-in" because of the U.S. election and "Belarusian" because of the re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

In September, it was "moonshot," which was the name of the United Kingdom's government COVID testing program.

And in October, "superspreader" spiked due to the spread of COVID-19 cases within the White House and "net-zero," which pertains to China President Xi Jinping pledging the country would be carbon neutral by 2060.