20 words we learned to use in 2020 that helped define the year

Kelsey Bradshaw, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Lifestyles

The past year has been a hellish, eye-opening yet sometimes inspiring one for Central Texans and everyone else around the world. (Aren't you so happy it's almost over?)

So much happened that defined 2020, including a pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 Americans, a reckoning of racism and police brutality, and a historic election.

As we close the year for good, here are 20 words or phrases we learned to use in 2020:

Animal Crossing

A highly addictive video game that has been around for years, was taken up by many as a quarantine activity. You can go fishing and invite other players to your yard, like it used to be in the before-times.



This may be the most significant word we learned this year. The common cold and some familiar flus, we learned, are coronaviruses. But this new virus became known as THE coronavirus. And the word turned out to be synonymous with grief as we watched our loved ones suffer and sometimes die. It meant not being able to hug our friends and family. It meant people losing their jobs. As we look forward to 2021, we hope vaccines will help end the pandemic and turn the virus into just a coronavirus.

Defund the police

After the death of George Floyd, a Black man in Minnesota who on Memorial Day suffocated when his neck was pinned under the knee of a white police officer for almost nine minutes, protests and rallies against racism and police violence broke out across the nation. The rallying cry of many protesters revolved around "defunding the police," which proponents say isn't about erasing police budgets but redirecting police spending to tackle the roots of crime, like mental health care and education. In August, Austin's City Council voted to remove $150 million from Austin police's budget.



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