Describe 2020 In One Word, as Voted by the People


If you had to describe 2020 in just one word, what word would you choose? Here are the top 100 words as voted by the public – is your word hiding in there?

The Guardian did just that. They asked their readers and followers in a poll to tell them in just one word, how they felt about this unprecedented/tumultuous/mind-blowing year that is 2020. And though the poll is not yet closed (you can still add your word!), there are currently over 6158 responses to sort. Gosh, WHERE WOULD YOU EVEN START?

Warning: The images below are NOT censored, so if you have children who can read looking over your shoulder, be warned!

We’re a colourful bunch. With language to match.

When responding to the question of which word would best describe 2020, The Guardian reported that “so far, the most frequent response was “shit” (261) followed by “f*cked” (208) and “exhausting” (111).

Which, while perhaps a little crass, is pretty honest and downright true.

The year has seen us up, down and pushed sideways. We’ve been allowed out, locked back in, gone to work, worked from home, schooled from home. Asked is it school holidays? Or, is it not school holidays? Can we go for a walk? What tests do we need to do to see a doctor and can I leave my car?

Turns out, exhausting would be the PERFECT word for the year 2020 after all.

You can see below The Guardian’s poll top 100 words to describe 2020. It’s a very pretty epic graphic for a less than epic year, I think you’d agree.

2020 in one word
The top 100 one-word responses to describe 2020. Source: The Guardian

The Guardian also asked “How do you think 2021 will be?” again, in a single word. And the responses were a little more optimistic. The most frequent responses are “better” (774) and “hopeful” (519). We can only hope so!

2020 in one word
The top 100 one-word responses to describe how we think 2021 will be. Source: The Guardian

Folks, we survived the melt-down that was 2020. We might be a little bruised and battered but for the most part, we came through the other side. Here’s hoping (with all my might) for a better, less stressed year next year. Bring on 2021!

Remember, there’s still time to have your say! Drop your words into The Guardian poll here.

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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