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