Collins Dictionary announced on Wednesday that its word of the year was “NFT” – digital assets that have exploded in popularity this year with the rise of cryptocurrencies.
The term, which stands for “non-fungible token,” has seen a “meteoric” increase in its use this year, up 11,000% from the previous year, Collins said.
The dictionary announced that it had landed on the word “NFT” for the annual accolades, as it reflects the “convergence of money and the Internet” that has come to define this year for many.
“Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence remains to be seen, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our Word of the Year,” the dictionary said.
The Collins Dictionary defines the word NFT as “a unique digital certificate, stored in a blockchain, which is used to record ownership of an asset such as a work of art or a collector’s item.”
“In other words, it’s a piece of digital data that records who owns a digital work,” Collins said.
The NFT market has shot into billions this year as celebrities and memes makers rushed to take advantage of the trend. Everyone from Paris Hilton and Martha Stewart to child stars of YouTube hits like “Charlie Bit My Finger” have sold their own NFTs.
In March, a Beeple NFT sold at Christie’s for over $ 69 million.
The word had to beat a number of other buzzwords to win the title of Word of the Year 2021.
“Double-vaxxed,” for example, was on the shortlist as “the badge of honor worn by those who received both doses of the jab,” as Collins put it.
“Hybrid work” and “pingdemic” – the term used to describe the onslaught of notifications resulting from remote work – both also made the shortlist.
The term “cheugy, the deliciously expressive word that’s used to denigrate something that’s now seen as awkward, outdated and embarrassing,” also made the list, Collins said.