The Cambridge Dictionary’s Word of the Year is “Quarantine”
Cambridge Dictionary has announced its 2020 word of the year: ‘quarantine’.
The first word, which unfortunately comes as no shock, was chosen based on data that showed it to be one of the most searched words this year.
“Quarantine was the only word to rank in the top five for search peaks and overall views (over 183,000 in early November), with the largest spike in searches (28,545) seen in the week of November 18-24. March, when many countries around the world went into lockdown as a result of Covid-19,” a word of the year statement said.
According to a report by Language Magazine, the editors of the Cambridge Dictionary also tracked how people use the word and discovered the emergence of a new meaning: “a general period when people are not allowed to leave their home or to travel freely, so that they do not catch or spread disease.
The new meaning has been added to the dictionary, under the main definition: “a specific period of time during which a person or animal which has a disease, or may have one, must remain or be kept apart from others in order to prevent the spread of the disease. »
“The words people search for reveal not just what’s happening in the world, but what matters most to them about those events,” Wendalyn Nichols, Cambridge Dictionary’s editor, told Language Magazine .
Interestingly, neither “coronavirus” nor “COVID-19” showed up in the dictionary’s top searches this year.
“We believe this indicates that people have been quite confident about the nature of the virus,” the statement said. “Instead, users searched for words related to the social and economic impacts of the pandemic, as evidenced not only by quarantine, but also by the two shortlisted word of the year finalists: lockdown and pandemic itself.”
Past Cambridge Dictionary Word of the Year winners include 2019’s ‘upcycle’ and 2018’s ‘nomophobia’.