“Vax” gets the title of the Word of the Year 2021 by Oxford Languages, the world-famous language database that produces the Oxford English Dictionary.Vax is defined as “a colloquialism meaning either vaccine or vaccination as a noun and vaccinate as a verb.”
According to Oxford’s data analysis, ‘vax’ was most commonly and frequently used in Australia, North America and South-East Asia, but it also observed that Britain and other English speaking nations were also picking up the word.
“When reviewing the language evidence, vax stood out as an obvious choice. The word’s dramatic spike in usage caught our attention first. Then we ran the analysis and a story started to emerge, revealing how vax sat at the centre of our preoccupations this year”, Casper Grathwohl, the President of Oxford Languages was quoted as saying.
Vax is derived from the word ‘vaccine’, having been used for the first time in the 1980s. It has seen a steep surge in usage this year, now that the entire world is on a vaccination drive. What’s interesting is that the word vax also came up several times for those against vaccination, commonly known as anti-vaxxers.
The Word of the Year is based on usage evidence drawn from Oxford’s continually updated corpus of more than 14.5 billion words, gathered from news sources across the English-speaking world. “The word vax, more than any other, has injected itself into the bloodstream of the English language in 2021,” Oxford said in a pun-filled news release.
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