Monday, 23 November 2020

OED word list 2020

Not a word of the week, nor yet a word of the year, which the OED usually decide on at this time, but a whole list of words, over forty of them. Not surprisingly, most are linked to the Coronavirus pandemic. But others relate to political activism, like "allyship" and "BLM."

Some, like "Veronica bucket" and "sanny" are quite new to me. How many do you know and use and do you think the OED has left any out that you would have included?


allyship n. active support for the rights of a minority or marginalized group without being a member of it

anthropause n. a global slowdown of travel and other human activities

anti-masker n. a person who opposes the wearing of face masks

anti-vaxxer n. a person who is opposed to vaccination

BC. before Covid/before coronavirus

Black Lives Matter n. a movement formed to campaign against systemic racism and violence against black people.

blended learning n. a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching

BLM. Black Lives Matter

Blursday n. a day of the week that is indistinguishable from any other

bubble n. (during an outbreak of an infectious disease) a restricted group of people whose members are allowed to be in close proximity when maintaining a physical distance is otherwise required

cancel culture n. a culture in which there is a widespread practice of publicly rejecting or withdrawing support from people or things regarded as promoting socially unacceptable views

circuit breaker n. (a) an automatic device for stopping the flow of current in an electric circuit as a safety measure; (b) an automatic, temporary halt placed on stock trading, typically as a means of inhibiting panic selling; (c) a short period of lockdown intended to inhibit the spread of an infectious disease

community transmission n. transmission of an infectious disease or pathogen between members of a community, especially as a result of casual contact

coronavirus n. any of a group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological diseases in humans and other animals; (specifically) a coronavirus responsible for an outbreak of serious respiratory disease in humans, especially the major pandemic beginning in 2019 

Covid-19 n. an acute disease in humans caused by a coronavirus, which is characterized mainly by fever and cough and is capable of progressing to pneumonia, respiratory and renal failure, blood coagulation abnormalities, and death, especially in the elderly and people with underlying health conditions; (also) the coronavirus that causes this disease

covidiot n. (depreciative) a person who disobeys guidelines designed to prevent the spread of Covid-19

decolonize v. to free (an institution, sphere of activity, etc.) from the cultural or social effects of colonization

defund v. to cease to fund (something)

doomscrolling n. the action of compulsively scrolling through social media or news feeds which relate bad news

flatten the curve v. to take measures designed to reduce the rate at which infection spreads during an epidemic, with the aim of lowering the peak daily number of new cases and extending the period over which new cases occur

furlough originally associated with members of the armed forces going on leave, and was chiefly used in the US. In March and April 2020 though, when it started to be used in other countries as employers were given grants to pay employees who were not working, usage shot up

hygiene theatre n. cleaning practices which give the illusion of sanitization without reducing the risk of infection

infodemic n. a proliferation of diverse, often unsubstantiated information relating to a crisis, controversy, or event, which disseminates rapidly and uncontrollably through news, online, and social media, and is regarded as intensifying public speculation or anxiety

Juneteenth n. 19 June, celebrated as a holiday commemorating the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas on that date in 1865.

learning modality n. a method of delivery of teaching and learning

lockdown n. a state of isolation, containment, or restricted access, usually instituted for security purposes or as a public health measure; the imposition of this state

mail-in adj. designating ballots, surveys, etc., in which results are collected by mail

moonshot n. an extremely ambitious and innovative project

net zero n. a target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity, to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

pandemic n. a disease which is epidemic over a very large area and affects a large proportion of a population; an outbreak of such a disease

personal protective equipment n. clothing and equipment designed to provide the wearer or user protection against hazardous substances or environments, or to prevent transmission of infectious diseases

plandemic n. a planned pandemic

PPE = personal protective equipment

R number n. reproduction number, the average number of cases of an infectious disease arising by transmission from a single infected individual

rona n. (informal) coronavirus; Covid-19

sanny n. (chiefly Australian) hand sanitizer

self-isolate v. to undertake self-imposed isolation for a period of time, typically in one’s own home, in order to avoid catching or transmitting an infectious disease, or as one of a number of public health measures designed to inhibit its spread

social distancing n. the action or practice of maintaining a certain physical distance from, or limiting physical contact with, another person or people (especially family and friends), especially in order to avoid catching or transmitting an infectious disease, or as one of a number of public health measures designed to inhibit its spread

superspreader n. an individual infected with a (pathogenic) microorganism who transmits it to an unusually large number of other individuals

systemic racism n. discrimination or unequal treatment on the basis of membership of a particular ethnic group (typically one that is a minority or marginalized), arising from systems, structures, or expectations that have become established within society or an institution

take a knee v. to go down on one knee as a peaceful means of protesting against racism

twindemic n. the simultaneous occurrence of two pandemics

unmute v. to turn on (a microphone or the audio on an electronic device), especially after having temporarily turned it off

Veronica bucket n. a type of sanitation equipment consisting of a covered bucket with a tap fixed at the bottom and a bowl fitted below to collect wastewater

virtue-signalling n. (depreciative) the public expression of opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one’s good character or the moral correctness of one’s position on a particular issue

wet market n. (South-East Asian) a market for the sale of fresh meat, fish, and produce

wokeness n. the fact or quality of being alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice

workation n. a working vacation; a holiday during which one also works

Zoombombing n. the practice of infiltrating video conference calls on the Zoom application, and posting violent, pornographic, or offensive content

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