Coronavirus and Black Lives Matter dominate list of 2020 buzzwords

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Collins Dictionary experts have published their annual list of new and notable words – this year dominated by Covid-19.

“Lockdown”, “furlough”, “key worker”, “self-isolate” and “social distancing” all feature, as does “coronavirus” itself.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) social justice movement is recognised, as is the growing influence of the TikTok social media platform.

These are the 10 words and phrases which appear on the full list.

Abbreviation for Black Lives Matter: a movement that campaigns against racially motivated violence and oppression.

– Coronavirus

Noun: Any one of a group of RNA-containing viruses that can cause infectious illnesses of the respiratory tract, including Covid-19.

– Furlough

Noun: A temporary laying-off of employees, usually because there is insufficient work to occupy them.

– Key worker or keyworker

Noun: An employee in any of a number of professions considered to be essential to the functioning of society, for example teachers, police officers, health workers, shop workers, etc.

Furlough study
The word ‘furlough’ also makes an appearance (Joe Giddens/PA)

Noun: The imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction and access to public spaces.

– Megxit

Noun, informal: The withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties, announced in January 2020.

– Mukbang

Noun, from Korean: A video or webcast in which the host eats a large quantity of food for the entertainment of viewers.

100 days since Duke and Duchess ceased to use HRH
Megxit features (Ben Stansall/PA)

Verb: To quarantine oneself if one has or suspects one has a contagious disease.

– Social distancing

Noun: The practice of maintaining a certain distance between oneself and other people in order to prevent infection with a disease.

– TikToker

Noun: A person who regularly shares or appears in videos on TikTok.

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