insightsIMDiscuss Blog
2020 Words
The leading 2020 words
Posted on: Dec 07, 2020        Categories:   Marketing Insights

From the name of this blog you’re probably thinking of some colorful words that encapsulate what 2020 was all about. Those words however are not proper for a public blog like this one.

The words we’re referring to are the ones that the Merriam-Webster dictionary declares the “Word of the Year” in their annual announcement of the words that saw the largest increase in people looking for its definition.

This year’s winner will probably not come as a surprise.

The 2020 word was “pandemic” with an increase of people looking it up well over 100,000%.

The runner-ups are also pretty telling about what people have been thinking about during this crazy year.

Among the top words looked up were:

Coronavirus – Like pandemic, this word also experienced an increase of searches of well over 100,000%

Defund – Obviously people weren’t that sure what all those protest signs meant.

Quarantine – Yeah, plenty of time to look that word up this year.

Schadenfreude – This word means “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.” Plenty of trouble in every shape and form going around in 2020.

Malarkey – This one was made popular by our president-elect. It means “foolish talk” which is also something that was prominent in 2020.

Hopefully we’ll get a list of more positive and uplifting “Words of the Year” this time next year.

I’ll leave you with one last word that saw a 464% increase in searches: “irregardless.” There is no end to the number of people who will tell you irregardless is not a real word (including spellcheck every time I write it in this blog).

But the Merriam-Webster folks say that it has been included in their dictionaries since 1934. Feel free to debate this point with your favorite word nerds.

DISCOVER.DEVELOP.DELIVER.learn about our creative process