NFT Is Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year

Cryptocurrency, and most importantly its “backbone” – blockchain – is everywhere today, showing the world how versatile it can be. The tech world keeps discovering newer and better uses for it, from access control to user management and international monetary transactions. Soon, every webshop and blog, even the most popular online casino Vietnam has to offer will use it in one way or another. But certainly one of its most viral – and, for some, baffling – use case is NFTs.

NFTs have become an explosive hit this year – this is probably why a never-before-seen number of people have been looking for their definition. So much so that Harper Collins, the publisher behind Collins Dictionary, have chosen NFT as their Word of the Year.

The definition of NFT according to the Collins

The Collins Dictionary defines NFT as “non-fungible token: a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible”, perhaps as “an asset whose ownership is recorded by means of a non-fungible token”.

It is, most definitely, a buzzword (“a word or expression that has become fashionable in a particular field and is being used a lot by the media”, according to the same dictionary) that is extensively used (perhaps even overused) in certain circles.

And there’s a reason for it: NFTs change hands at often exorbitant prices. The most expensive NFT sold to date was Beeple’s “Everydays”, a collage that was auctioned off by Christies’ for $69 million. But other NFTs are routinely sold for seven-figure amounts, often paid in cryptocurrency.

Other contenders at the Collins

In the blog post announcing the dictionary’s Word of the Year, the publishing house revealed that they had a tough time making their choice, considering the sheer number of novel expressions getting a lot of attention in 2021.

Many of the candidates this year were related to the pandemic that’s still ongoing after almost two years – terms like “double-vaxxed” used for those who received two doses of a vaccine, “hybrid working”, used for working arrangements that combine office and home-office work. Others, in turn, reflect the new reality around us – think “climate anxiety”, “neopronoun” (pronouns that go beyond the conventions of “he” and “she”), and many others.

Other Words of the Year

Most other major online (and IRL) dictionaries choose their Words of the Year around this time of the year.

Over at Dictionary.com, the chosen one is “allyship” (the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society). Merriam Webster chose “vaccine”, for obvious reasons, and Oxford English Dictionary chose “vax” – the two words have the same definition.

Macquarie Dictionary, the compendium of Aussie English, chose “strollout” as their Word of the Year – this is also related to vaccines, because it is a fusion of “stroll” and “rollout” to depict the sluggish rollout of vaccines in Australia.

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