It’s something most people have been waiting for all year, and now, it’s officially Oxford’s ‘word of the year.’ As per CNN, the word ‘vax’ has been chosen by lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as the word of 2021.
You probably know what it means, but the official description of the word vax is “a colloquialism meaning either vaccine or vaccination as a noun and vaccinate as a verb.” Granted, it’s been such a hot topic throughout the year and it has been an instrumental weapon against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Vax was an obvious pick, according to OED senior editor Fiona McPherson, because it has had “the most striking impact.” “When you add to that its versatility in forming other words – vaxxie, vax-a-thon, vaxinista—it became clear that vax was the standout in the crowd,” she said.
“When reviewing the language evidence, vax stood out as an obvious choice. The word’s dramatic spike in usage caught our attention first. Then we ran the analysis and a story started to emerge, revealing how vax sat at the center of our preoccupations this year,” stated Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages.
As per Oxford’s report, the term first appeared as a noun in the 1980s and then started to be used as a verb in the early 21st century. “It has generated numerous derivatives that we are now seeing in a wide range of informal contexts, from vax sites and vax cards to getting vaxxed and being fully vaxxed, no word better captures the atmosphere of the past year than vax,” Oxford Languages said.
Oxford’s research revealed that the term ‘vax’ is most commonly used in North America, Australia, and Southeast Asia. This means it’s equally popular in the Philippines. Given most Filipinos aspire to get vaxxed, it’s no surprise, right?
Art Daniella Sison