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Spain's 'word of the year' is announced

People applauding the healthworkers during the lockdown.
People applauding the healthworkers during the lockdown. / EFE
  • Words such as vaccine, resilience, health, telework and conspiracy were included in the FundéuRAE shortlist

A Spanish language foundation has chosen 'confinement' as its word of the year.

It was chosen from a FundéuRAE shortlist of twelve words mainly relating to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects, such as vaccine, resilience, Covid-19, or more disturbing words, such as conspiranoia and infodemic.

Defined by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) as "temporary and generally imposed isolation of a population, a person or a group for health or safety reasons", it was noted that the term "has marked a good part of the months of the year".

In its most recent update of the Dictionary of the Spanish Language (DLE), last November, the RAE modified the entry for the word 'confinement' “to adjust it to the reality that millions of people around the world have lived on SARS-CoV-2 pandemic”.

The academics also said that "confinement is the best alternative to the British word 'lockdown' to designate the forced confinement of the population in their homes".

Previous winners of the FundéuRAE word of the year have included selfie (2014), refugee (2015), populism (2016), aporophobia (2017), microplastic (2018) and emojis (2019).