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‘NFT’ named 2021’s Word Of The Year – as ‘Regencycore’, ‘neopronoun’ and ‘pingdemic’ appear in top 10 | UK News

“NFT” has been named Word Of The Year while “neopronoun”, “pingdemic” and “cheugy” also make an appearance on the annual list of new and notable words.

The abbreviation of “non-fungible token” clinched the top spot on the list of the year’s most notable new terms, after seeing a more than 11,000% rise in usage in 2021.

NFT – the unique digital identifier that records ownership of a digital asset – has entered the mainstream this year as millions has been spent on the most sought-after images and videos.

Any digital creation, including a picture, a video, a piece of music or even a tweet, can become an NFT, with the most valuable, created by digital artist Beeple, selling for £50.3 million at a Christie’s auction in March.

Conversations over gender and the representation of trans and non-binary people has led to a rise in usage of “neopronouns” which is another word on this year’s list.

The term “Regencycore” also made the list of this year’s top ten terms picked by Collins Dictionary experts.

It relates to the recent influence shows such as Bridgerton have had on fans and fashion, and “cheugy” is a slang term used to describe, and dismiss, anything seen as hopelessly uncool or unfashionable.

Rege-Jean Page (L) and Phoebe Dynevor as Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton. Pic: Netflix
Rege-Jean Page (L) and Phoebe Dynevor as Simon Basset and Daphne Bridgerton. Pic: Netflix

Describing the word of the year “NFT”, Alex Beecroft, from MD Collins Learning, said: “It’s unusual for an abbreviation to experience such a meteoric rise in usage, but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascendancy of the NFT in 2021.

“NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms. Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our Word Of The Year.

“Its unique technicolour collision of art, technology and commerce has broken through the Covid noise with dramatic effect.”

“NFT” is one of three tech-based words to make Collins’ list of 10 words of the year, as well as “crypto”, the short form of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, and “metaverse” describing a three-dimensional virtual world.

Two people wearing masks in front of a social distancing sign in Regent Street, London, following the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. Covid-19 case rates are rising in more local areas of the UK than at any point since early January. Picture date: Monday June 7, 2021.
The influence of the COVID-19 pandemic remains strong as three related words make this year’s list. File pic

The 2020 Word Of The Year was “lockdown”, and the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the language remains strong as three related words make this year’s list.

“Pingdemic” emerged when people using the NHS app were pinged to self-isolate following contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID.

“Hybrid working” denotes the mixture of commuting and working from home, which has become the norm, while “double-vaxxed” refers to anyone who has received two doses of the COVID vaccine.

This year the term “climate anxiety” has made the list, reflecting people’s growing concerns about climate change and the perceived lack of action to tackle it.

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