In a year where no topic has been covered as much as the COVID-19 vaccine, Oxford Language has announced that the word of the year is "Vax."
Oxford released a report depicting the impact that the word and its variations have carried throughout a year focussed on ending the coronavirus pandemic.
"Whether you are vaxxed, double-vaxxed, or unvaxxed, the language relating to vaccines and vaccination permeated all of our lives in 2021," Oxford said in its report.
In years prior, and even in the early months of 2021, "vax" was not heavily used. However, with the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more available to those worldwide, it has become extremely popular.
"A relatively rare word in our corpus until this year, by September it was over 72 times more frequent than at the same time last year. No word better captures the atmosphere of the past year than vax," Oxford said.
Each region has also come up with its own slang for the vaccine, including "jab" in the U.K. and "shot" in the U.S., according to the world's leading dictionary publisher.
The word initially dates back to the 1980s, while anti-vax, with a different spelling, was used in the early 19th Century.
The word followed the first use of the word vaccinated by the English physician and scientist Edward Jenner's work on vaccination against smallpox, Oxford noted.
Oxford added an 1812 letter from Jenner in which he wrote, "The Anti-Vacks are assailing me ... with all the force they can muster in the newspapers."
In 2020 several different words were used to describe a year that many considered to be indescribable. The dictionary company mentioned several phrases from work-from-home to social media and COVID-19.