2020’s Word Of The Year

What do you think the 2020 Word of the Year should be?

Adrian Panghe
2 min readSep 18, 2020
Photo by Markus Winkler form PxHere

I asked myself, then I asked different people: which should be 2020’s word of the year?

Some of them joked about this, some others picked very powerfull words. I even got 2021 as an answer. Twice.

  • change: “I can not think of anyone who’s life has not been affected in some way”
  • turbulence/ paranoia
  • hell: might sound harsh, but maybe that’s what 2020 has been like for some
  • pandemic, social-distancing, lockdown: obviously, some words whose usage has sky-rocketed in 2020
  • reset, redesign: we re-arranged some parts of our lives and habits, that were firmly done in a certain way
  • yeast
  • R-rate bar charts and bubbles
  • pajamas
  • homeschooling
  • none (ouch!)
  • mute (as in ‘You’re on mute’)
  • unthinkable/ reality check
  • resilience
  • ubuntu: that’s a nice one, full of meaning (I had to google it)

To my surprise, no one said COVID-19/ coronavirus. Maybe that was too obvious. Or maybe that’s simply not what we’ll remember from this year. We will all remember how we worked from home, in our pajamas, how we started to bake bread, how we ordered (even more) online, how we finally understood the importance of the healthcare system, and of all the doctors and staff involved.

My word nominee is…

In my view, it should be any. Not any word. But the word any.

Because we expected from 2020 anything but this.

We acknowledged finally that anything is possible.

We worked from home. Actually from anywhere. The same anywhere from which kids attended school.

We understood that we cannot be prepared for everything, but anything that will hit us, we will handle, somehow.

We will find any way possible to recover, to reset, to re-skill, to restart.

We will take any chance we get to re-learn anything, just as children do.

With any small gestures, like washing our hands, and wearing a mask, we can save any life.



Adrian Panghe

I’m a balanced family guy, who’s still learning to be curious. I’m a light-blue collar, who question everything. I compile writing, puzzles, quirky topics & HR.