You’d be pardoned if you didn’t know what an NFT was last year, but as the crypto world grew, so did the world of non-fungible tokens, and now Collins Dictionary has named “NFT” as the word of the year.
“Cheugy” came in second place, followed by “climate anxiety” in third. “crypto,” “double-vaxxed,” “hybrid working,” “metaverse,” “neopronoun,” “pingdemic,” and lastly, “regencycore” appear from fourth to tenth. “NFT” has seen a “meteoric” spike in popularity this year, according to Collins, with usage up 11,000 percent in 2021. According to The Guardian, Collins then chose the abbreviation because it is a “unique technicolor collision of art, commerce, and technology that has passed through the circumstances of COVID.” “It is unusual for an abbreviation to experience such as meteoric rise in usage,” says Collins Learning managing director Alex Beecroft, “but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascension of NFTs in 2021… and NFTs are seen everywhere, from the financial pages to the art sections, in auction houses and galleries, and more across the internet. It’s too early to tell whether the NFT will have a long-term impact, but its rapid appearance in global debates qualifies it as our word of the year.” NFTs are unavoidable, as there appears to be a new one to report on every day. FVCKRENDER and HypeArt collaborated to make its own NFT, a rare Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT sold for a record of $3.4 million USD in October, and all participants from the Saw franchise to Grimes, Damien Hirst, and Tommy Cash x Rick Owens has released something in some form. As Collins points out, “NFT” may not have a long-term impact by 2022. However, we believe the abbreviation will continue to shatter records as long as NFTs do.