Dictionary book

And the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year is …


Collins Dictionary declared NFT its Word of the Year for 2021 in recognition of the convergence of the worlds of money, technology and art in what has come to be known as “non-fungible tokens.”

NFTs have exploded in popularity this year with the help of collectors, speculators, and celebrity godfathers creating the hype – and funding – for them. Collins defines them as “a unique digital certificate, stored in a blockchain, which is used to register ownership of an asset such as a work of art or a collector’s item.” Some of these digital works of art have sold for millions of dollars.

The corporate world has been anything but slow to respond. Hybe, the agency that runs Justin Bieber and K-pop sensation BTS, is teaming up with South Korea’s largest crypto exchange to sell the group’s digital photo cards. Sports teams, car brands and other musicians have also jumped on the NFT bandwagon. Latest backers also include Paris Hilton and Bill Ackman’s Table Management.

Other words on Collins’ shortlist included metaverse, “a proposed version of the Internet that incorporates three-dimensional virtual environments” that persuaded Mark Zuckerberg to change the company’s name from Facebook to Meta Platforms. Crypto, the short form of cryptocurrency and often used as a shorthand for blockchain technology as a whole, was also present.

“Double-vaxxed,” describing a person who received two doses of a two-dose vaccine, also received a nod. “Vax” and its various iterations had also been honored by rival Oxford English Dictionary earlier this year. – Vlad Savov, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP