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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Oxford Languages declares ‘vax’ its Word of the Year for 2021

The word vax has been declared as Word of the Year for 2021 by Oxford Languages.

In its latest language report titled VAX, which is a report into the language of vaccines, “the word vax, more than any other, has injected itself into the bloodstream of the English language in 2021”, according to Oxford Languages.


The organisation described it as a “relatively rare” word until this year, stating that it was 72 times more frequent than the same time last year by September.

This comes after last year’s report was expanded to reflect the “unprecedented” nature of 2020 with terms such as furlough, Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter being listed.

The word ‘vax’, which was first recorded in 1799, was subject to a “dramatic spike in usage” that caught the attention of Oxford Languages.


“Then we ran the analysis and a story started to emerge, revealing how vax sat at the centre of our preoccupations this year.”

“The evidence was everywhere, from dating apps (vax 4 vax) and pent-up frustrations (hot vax summer) to academic calendars (vax to school) and bureaucratic operations (vax pass).”

This is quite an interesting way of analysing our current society as previous examples of Word of the Year include vape, selfie and post-truth.

IMAGE – “201214-D-BN624-0811” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Secretary of Defense


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