‘NFT’ is Collins Dictionary’s word of the year

A lot of people still aren’t entirely sure what an NFT is, but they’re certainly talking about them.

Collins Dictionary has named NFT as 2021’s word of the year, citing its regular use in media and almost nonstop repetition on social media.

While NFT won top honors, the digital revolution was a big part of this year’s list of word of the year contenders. The continued discussion about the pandemic and its effects on everyday life resulted in some finalists as well. (Vax, in fact, won the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year contest.) And, of course, pop culture managed to fit a few finalists in as well.

Here’s a look at the runners up for this year’s competition.


Beyond Facebook’s name change to “Meta,” the discussion among tech firms about the concept of a persistent world that has been described as “a dream for the future of the internet” made this buzzword hot in 2021.


The abbreviated term for cryptocurrencies became a lot better known this year as digital currencies such as Cardano, Shiba Inu and Dogecoin surged, and Bitcoin hit new records.


Vaccines were a hot topic in 2021 and this term, which Collins calls a “badge of honour worn by those who’ve had both doses of the jab” began making the rounds.

Hybrid working

People aren’t back in the office full-time yet, so this phrase for a mix of working remote and on site made the shortlist.


Blame the media for this one. This term is used to describe the epidemic of absences from work caused by “pings” from apps that warned users if they’d been in close contact with an infected person.

Climate anxiety

Given all the talk about climate issues this year and the COP26, it’s little wonder that this term made the list.


Interest in gender neutrality saw a surge this year, leading to increased use of this word, describing the avoidance of traditional markers of gender, using “xe”, “ze” and “ve” instead of the conventional “he” or “she”.


Bridgerton fans pushed this word, referring to a distinctive fashion aesthetic (in this case one inspired by Georgian styles) into the national conversation.


This could be our favorite addition to the runner-up list. It’s the new way to say “uncool,” casting aspersions on something that’s considered out of date and embarrassing. Sadly, that’s often something from the 2000s.

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