Global Language Monitor Announces That 'Covid' is the Top Word of 2020

Global Language Monitor Announces That 'Covid' is the Top Word of 2020

Global Language Monitor (GLM), the data research company that documents, analyzes, and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, has announced that Covid is the Top Word of 2020 in its mid-year update.

"It's no surprise that 'covid' has risen to the top of the rankings," said Paul JJ Payack, President and Chief Word Analyst of GLM. "However, 'covid' has received the highest number of citations ever recorded in our global survey. In fact, 'covid' has outranked all previous Words of the Year in the 21st century by a factor of 100, or more."

Covid is the commonly used shorthand for the shorthand for Covid-19. Covid-19 is the official name of the virus caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus, so named in WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

Covid-19 is ranked No. 2 on GLM's mid-year update. The Top Ten Words of the Year (#WOTY) for 2020 include Covid, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Corona, Face mask, Progress, Truth, Social Distancing, Trade War, and Sustainability.

Top Words of the Year of 2020 (#WOTY2020) mid-year update follow (Rank, Word, Definition).

  1. Covid -- The shorthand for Covid-19 has the largest number of citations ever recorded in the 21st century.
  2. Covid-19 -- The official name of the virus caused by the SARS CoV-2 virus, so named in WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
  3. Coronavirus -- SARS-CoV-2 - The official name of the virus that causes Covied-19.
  4. Corona -- From the Latin for 'crown'. Compare the Sun's corona during a total eclipse.
  5. Face mask -- A face covering that helps halt the spread of Covid-19 to varying degrees depending on the material and number of layers.
  6. Progress -- The belief that society moves ever towards betterment.
  7. Truth -- The idea that there is an objective, discernible reality for humans to discover and cherish.
  8. Social Distancing -- The distance individuals should keep from each other to lessen risk of virus transmission, usually about 2 meters or six feet.
  9. Trade War -- Colossal struggle between US and China with worldwide repercussions.
  10. Sustainability --The ability to create an environment that supplies certain needs without compromising future production.
  11. Flatten the Curve -- During a pandemic, the ability to manage the number of cases so as to not overwhelm the hospital system.
  12. Lockdown -- Restricting movement outside homes for locales or geographic districts.
  13. Identity Politics -- Politics-based on certain elements of one's makeup, such as skin color or ethnic background, or gender.
  14. Progressives -- The word 'liberal' outlived its usefulness as the description of one's political leanings.
  15. Zoom Meeting -- Group meetings held over videoconferencing channels; popularized during the current pandemic.
  16. Quarantine -- Restricting physical movements to one's home or institution, often separated from all others.
  17. Migrants -- People moving from one nation to another.
  18. Donald Trump -- Donald J. Trump, the 46th, and current, president of the United States.
  19. Symptoms -- Physical conditions that may signify the presence of a virus or illness.
  20. Outbreak -- The seemingly sudden appearance of a disease in a community or geographic location.

Typically, the Global Language Monitor ranks words, phrases, and names on three separate lists, and the lists are limited to 20 items. For this effort, GLM has combined the lists and extended the word count to 50 items. To view the entire list, go to

Global Language Monitor began recording the Top Words of the Year in 2000 to document the history of the 21st Century through the English language, the world's first truly global language. The words are culled throughout the English-speaking world, which as of January 2018 ranks more than 2.58 billion speakers. Global Language Monitor employs its NarrativeTracker​ technologies for global internet and social media analysis.

NarrativeTracker is based on global discourse, providing a real-time, accurate picture about any topic, at any point in time. NarrativeTracker analyzes the internet, blogosphere, and the top 300,000 print and electronic global media as well as new social media sources as they emerge.

In addition, the Global Language Monitor has also tracked the Top Words, Phrases and Names of the 21st Century.

More information about these and the company can be found at

About Global Language Monitor

Based in Austin, Texas, the Global Language Monitor collectively documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis upon the English language. The company is known for its Word of the Year, political analysis, college and university rankings, high-tech buzzwords, and media analytics. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Paul JJ Payack​

Source: Global Language Monitor


Categories: International News, General Interest

Tags: 2020, data research, Global Language Monitor, language, Top Words of the Year, trending, trends, WOTY2020

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