Know Oxford English Dictionary’s Word Of The Year

New Delhi: Lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) have chosen ‘Vax’ as the word of the year.

According to OED senior editor Fiona McPherson, ‘vax’ was an obvious choice as it has made “the most striking impact,” BBC reported.

“It goes back at least to the 1980s, but according to our corpus it was rarely used until this year,” she was quoted as saying. 


“When you add to that its versatility in forming other words – vaxxievax-a-thonvaxinista – it became clear that vax was the standout in the crowd.”

Vax and vaxx are both accepted spellings but the form with one x is more common.

Here are Oxford English Dictionary definitions for vax:

  • vax n. A vaccine or vaccination
  • vax v. Treat (someone) with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease; vaccinate
  • vaxxie n. A photograph of oneself taking during or immediately before or after a vaccination, especially one against Covid-19, and typically shared on social media; a vaccination selfie
  • anti-vax adj. Opposed to vaccination
  • anti-vaxxer n. A person who is opposed to vaccination
  • double-vaxxed adj. Having received two doses of a vaccine

Vax, was first recorded in English in 1799, while its derivatives vaccinate and vaccination both first appear in 1800.


All of these words ultimately come from the Latin word vacca, which means cow. According to the OED, this is due to English physician and scientist Edward Jenner’s pioneering work on vaccination against smallpox using cowpox – a mild infection that occurs in cows – in the late 1790s and early 1800s.

According to Oxford Languages, its corpus, or language resource, gathers news content that is updated daily and contains over 14.5 billion words for lexicographers to search and analyse.


Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.