February 1, 2022
With pandemic-related words continuing to fill daily conversations, Dictionary.com has added two new words related to vaccines.
Dictionary.com announced Monday that it has added the terms “vaxxer” and “antivaxxer” to its word catalogue.
According to the new entries, a vaxxer is an informal noun and is considered “a person who trusts vaccines or is in favour of vaccination.”
Antivaxxer, also an informal noun, is “a person who distrusts or is against vaccination, often someone who is vocally opposed to vaccines,” according to Dictionary.com.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the language people use.
Because of the sudden disruption in daily life, experts say people around the world have adopted official medical terminology used by health and government officials to better understand the situation they find themselves in, with dictionaries also taking notice.
Among hundreds of new terms added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary in 2021, a significant number of them were coined during the ongoing pandemic, including “long hauler,” “super-spreader,” “long COVID,” “vaccine passport,” and vaccine hesitancy.”
‘Vax’ was listed as the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2021, after they said it appeared more than 72 times more frequently than the year before.
In 2020, the Oxford English Dictionary was unable to name its traditional word of the year, and instead issued two special updates. The updates included various coronavirus-related language, such as “COVID-19” and “social distancing,” in addition to the names of drugs that became part of the public discourse at the start of the pandemic, such as hydroxychloroquine and dexamethasone.