The Guardian

After ‘lockdown’ in 2020, ‘NFT’ is Collins’ word of the year for 2021

- Alison Flood

In a year that has seen the musician Grimes sell a collection of digital artworks for almost $6m (£4.4m), and the original photo behind the 2005 Disaster Girl meme go for $473,000, Collins Dictionary has made NFT its word of the year. Usage of the abbreviati­on of non-fungible token has risen 11,000% in the last year.

Collins defines NFT as “a unique digital certificat­e, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectibl­e”. Its lexicograp­hers said they chose NFT as their word of

the year because it demonstrat­ed a “unique technicolo­ur collision of art, technology and commerce” that has “broken through the Covid noise” to become ubiquitous.

“It’s unusual for an abbreviati­on to experience such a meteoric rise in usage,” said the Collins Learning managing director, Alex Beecroft.

“Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversati­ons around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year.”

Collins chose “lockdown” as its word of the year in 2020.

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