"Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations makes it clearly our Word of the Year," Collins Dictionary says.
Collins Dictionary has unveiled its word of the year for 2021: NFTs.
The gatekeepers to the English language has reported an explosion in mentions of non-fungible tokens over the past year.
Alex Beecroft, the MD of Collins Learning, said it is rare for an abbreviation to have such a "remarkable ascendancy," adding:
"NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms. 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."
They added that its "unique technicolour collision of art, technology and commerce has broken through the COVID noise with dramatic effect.”
It wasn't the only hi-tech word to punch through into the top 10 words of the year either.
"Crypto," which of course is the shortened version of "cryptocurrency," also makes an appearance — as does "metaverse." We're yet to see whether Decentraland and The Sandbox will surge dramatically on the news.
What is an NFT?
This seems like a good time to remind ourselves of how an NFT is actually defined in the dictionary.
Collins describes it 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."
Other words that gained prominence over the past year were mainly related to COVID.
"Double-vaxxed" — referring to someone who has had both of their coronavirus jabs — features in the list. Another is the clever portmanteau "pingdemic," which referred to the high number of Britons who were forced to stay at home after being informed that they had come into close contact with someone who has COVID.