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Words that became common in 2020


What do pandemic, Coronavirus and quarantine have in common? They are all words that got added to our dictionary of slangs in the year 2020! With the entire societal construct being challenged, governments being toppled, and human survival hanging in the balance, 2020 didn’t exactly spark joy. Looking back isn’t Hello Vizag’s style. That’s why instead of a single word from this year, we picked several of them.


Sometimes a single word defines a whole epoch and the word pandemic was one of those words which no less than defined the whole year for us. It exceptionally fit into our mundane lives always reminding us of how the year was filled with an unexpected difficulty. This word immediately came onto the forefront out of nowhere and became the word of the year!


In this year, when the public’s mind was so focused on COVID-19, the word asymptomatic was a reminder of one of the Coronavirus’ most challenging characteristics that people who are without symptoms can be contagious too. People were clearly paying attention to the news and to early descriptions of the nature of this disease.


A jargon for medical professionals became the general public’s everyday vocabulary, though not a new word, Coronavirus rocketed from being insignificant to appearing everywhere in a span of few weeks. The word was largely ignored as the year began but that indeed changed on March 23 and as news coverage continued, panic among the public was rising.


As the reality of the global pandemic set in, we went into a state of enforced isolation which was designed to prevent the spread of the disease. Basically, this isolating ship was in charge of protecting the whole country, and with this word stay at home, orders became our new reality. It has been a year unlike any other and quarantine is the word that connected the worldwide medical emergency to the political response and to our personal experience of it all.

Community spread

Because the COVID-19 crisis developed at such a rapid pace, the word community spread associated with the crisis familiarised with us. Falling under the category of diagnosis, just as vaccines begin to offer hope for a path out of the pandemic, there was an urgent alarm about what they called a highly contagious Coronavirus circulating.


Lockdown was declared the word of the year for 2020 by Collins Dictionary, after a sharp rise in its usage during the pandemic. It came into common expression as governments responded to the spread of Covid-19 in early 2020 by placing strict measures to stop transmission of the virus.


Everyone’s talking about social distancing and how it can prevent the spread of COVID. It basically means keeping a safe distance of about three to six feet from others that will not only prevent contraction of any infection but will also break the chain of the disease

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