Covid-19 turned into Covid 2021, the U.S. presidency changed hands despite TFG’s efforts to the contrary, and we somehow summoned the energy to invent new words and repurpose old ones. Here are my picks for this year’s keywords; scroll to the bottom for previous years’ lists. And stay tuned for the American Dialect Society’s selection of the word of the year on January 7.
My criteria are the ADS’s: words (or “lexical items”—acronyms and phrases appear here, too) that were new or newly prominent, widely used, and relevant to events of 2021.
In alphabetical order: