2020 in Review: Words of the Year
2020… The year of so much and so little. How is it possible that March lasted for 6 months and October, November and December were over in two weeks? If you are anything like us, the year has become a little bit of a blur; we decided to look back on how the world portrayed each month of the year using a single word. Read below for Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year and a highlight from each month of 2020.
2020’s word of the year: pandemic [ pan-dem-ik ]
No surprise here. The Coronavirus pandemic defined life across the globe for the majority of 2020. The pandemic introduced us to a new vocabulary needed to define our new lives. Words like asymptomatic, quarantine, and social distancing became part of our everyday lexicon.
January: pettifogging [ pet-ee-fog-ing, -faw-ging ]
The term “pettifogging” became popular back in January thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts when referring to the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Searches of the word rose 62,600% after his use of the word on January 22nd, 2020. (Thanks to this article one more search was added to the tally in December!)
February: acquit [ uh-kwit ]
When President Donald Trump was acquitted, searches for the word “acquit” jumped 3,600% on February 5th alone. Overall, it was searched for 5 times its normal monthly average.
March: quarantine [ kwawr-uhn-teen, kwor-, kwawr-uhn-teen, kwor- ]
Ah, yes. Our favorite phrase of the pandemic. Quarantine. The word jumped to the forefront of everyone’s lives in March when nationwide lockdowns began and the shape of our lives began to change.
April: social distancing [ soh-shuhl dis-tuhn-sing ]
Soon after the quarantine began, social distancing came into our lives. As humans, we crave social interaction and maintaining a safe distance from those around us allows us to get that interaction while still being responsible regarding the spread of COVID-19.
May: conspiracy theory [ kuhn-spir-uh-see theer-ee ]
This phrase could easily be replaced with disinformation or misinformation. With a 24 hour news cycle and the widespread nature of social media, information spreads quickly throughout the world. 2020 saw a big divide between information sources with Americans getting bombarded with stories from all angles.
June: defund [ dee-fuhnd ]
The word “defund” was actually the word that saw the biggest increase in searches in 2020 coming in at an increase of 160,000% compared to 2019.
July: Karen [ kair-in ]
We apologize to all the people named Karen reading this article, but we must report the facts. The term “Karen” became a cultural phenomenon and was viewed over 2 million times on Dictionary.com following the spread of some viral videos referring to angry people as “Karen”.
August: doomscrolling or doom-scroll·ing [ doom-skroh-ling ]
Raise your hand if you are guilty of doomscrolling in 2020 (raises hand). Doomscrolling refers to the obsessive way we all checked our phones in 2020 waiting for more bad news. Personally, we vote for a shift back to only photos of babies, puppies or kitties on social media for all of 2021!
September: absentee vote
As the United States prepared for a presidential election in the midst of a pandemic (thank you word of the year), the term “absentee vote” became a hot topic. While the process was nothing new, the nature of the pandemic brought a lot more attention to the process.
October: superspreader or su·per-spread·er [ soo-per-spred-er ]
In 2019 this may have referred to the parent in the house who was best at making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but of course 2020 had new ideas. As the US entered a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, the term became synonymous with events that led to multiple infections of the disease.
November: unprecedented [ uhn-pres-i-den-tid ]
Personally this is one word we would have no issue never using or hearing again. While it was an important word to describe the year of 2020, it was EVERYWHERE. Car commercial; unprecedented. Radio ad; unprecedented. News broadcast; unprecedented. Let’s hope 2021 allows us to put this one behind us for good!
December (People’s Choice): unprecedented [ uhn-pres-i-den-tid ]
The people voted and the winner of their “word of the year” was UNPRECEDENTED. Sheesh. This word will just not go away. What an unprecedented selection for an unprecedented year! Well, the people have spoken.
If you are looking for words to describe your homeownership dreams, let us help! At Cambria Mortgage we are committed to talking you through each and every step of the mortgage process and making sure you have the right loan for your specific needs. Call us today at 952-942-0110 or visit us online to get started!