Oxford Word of the Year 2021 announced, and it will score you big Scrabble points

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Much of the past year has focused on the coronavirus pandemic, and so 2021 has focused on a solution in the form of a vaccine.

Oxford Languages, the brains behind the Oxford English Dictionary, took note and chose “vax” as its word of the year 2021.

“A relatively rare word in our corpus until this year, in September it was over 72 times more common than at the same time last year,” Oxford said.

According to Oxford, “vax” can be used as a noun or as a verb, and there are several derivatives of the term, such as “vax cards”, “vax sites” and “to be fully vaxxed”.

And, as any “Scrabble” player will quickly point out, the Word of the Year 2021 will earn you 13 cool points in the board game – not too shabby for a three-letter word.

Last year, the Oxford lexicographers did not choose a single word of the year but rather broke it down into a three-part report on words that shaped the COVID-19 pandemic, such as ‘coronavirus’ and ‘remote work’.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 192.5 million Americans, or 58% of the population of the United States, are fully immunized.

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at [email protected]. Do you have any advice? Tell us at nj.com/tips.


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