And Your Word of the Year is... VAX!

a man with his sleeve rolled up about to receive a vaccination from a doctor

Call us a little obsessive, but being self-confessed lexicon lovers, we at Lexonik get a little giddy with excitement as we prepare to see the new ‘word of the year’ revealed by the Oxford Dictionary.

So, without further ado….

Drumroll please….

Word of the year for 2021 is…


Yes, that’s right Ladies and Gentlemen.

You’ve waited 12 months to hear a three letter word take the crown for the hit word of the year.

Are we or should we be surprised?


Every living conversational being seems likely to have uttered that word in the year of Covid vaccinations and pro- or anti-jab campaigns.

It’s indeed a much-uttered word in the wider population, and we’re hardly shocked to see that the analysts – who tend to dig this word from a comprehensive extraction across social media, online use, and more traditional written and spoken form over the last year-long period – have gone for this short but sweet term.

What’s perhaps interesting to note, is that vax is not at all a ‘new word’.

Indeed, it’s said to hail from 1799, and is associated with the Latin word vacca – meaning cow.

For that explanation, look no further than the work of English physician Edward Jenner, who created a vaccine against smallpox, calling on cowpox, which in itself was an infection in cows.

Need some more trivia related to ‘word of the year’?

Our pleasure.

Here’s the rundown of those terms selected over recent years by the Oxford Dictionary:

2020 – No single word (apparently, it was considered that there were too many to choose from in such an ‘unprecedented’ year, so words such as lockdown, WFH (work from home), Covid-19, Black Lives Matter and Furlough, all took the crown together)

2019 – Climate Emergency

2018 – Toxic

2017 – Youthquake

2016 – Post-truth

2015 – Emoji Tears of Joy

2014 – Vape

2013 – Selfie

What would be your word of the year?

Is there a word that you use more now than you’ve ever done previously?

Perhaps there’s a word which you’ve really understood or learned to spell for the first time this year?

Let us know. We’d love to hear your stories. Email the team on: [email protected]

Sarah Ledger
Lexonik • CEO