The Oxford English Dictionary has chosen the word “vax” as its 2021 word of the year. In a statement, Oxford said the word was rarely used until this year and has become attached as an adjective or presented as a verb in many different words now used every day. For instance, Oxford cites terms that have been derived from the abbreviation “vax” of vaccine such as “vax-pass,” “vax-card,” “vax-site,” “fully-vaxxed,” “getting vaxxed” and “anti-vax.” Oxford also justified its choice by noting how much more often discussions about vaccines occurred in 2021.
The Dictionary’s Editors noted that for the first time this year their report also examined how the language of vaccines has influenced languages other than English, looking at a selection of the most-spoken languages across the globe. Oxford did not choose a single word to represent the year in 2020, saying it was not a year that could “neatly be accommodated in one single word of the year.