Collins Dictionary named the abbreviation of non-fungible token "NFT" its 2021 word of the year, as usage went up 11,000% from a year ago, according to The Hill.
"It's unusual for an abbreviation to experience such a meteoric rise in usage, but the data we have from the Collins Corpus reflects the remarkable ascendancy of the NFT in 2021," Collins Learning managing director Alex Beecroft said, per The Guardian.
"NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms," he added. "Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year."
Collins defines "NFT" as a "unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible," meaning it's not replaceable by any other piece of data.
The word "NFT" beat out other famous words like "cheugy," used to describe something out-of-date or embarrassing, and "double-vaxxed," referring to those who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, for the spot, The Hill reported.
Gender-neutral pronouns like "xe" or "ze" were also popular word choices this year.
The trading volume of NFTs spiked in the third quarter of 2021 to $10.67 billion. The most expensive NFT ever sold at auction was purchased for $69 million in March.
The popularity of "NFT" overtook that of two other internet terms - "metaverse," described as a digital future including virtual and augmented reality, and "crypto," the shortened version of "cryptocurrency."
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