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Betting Odds on Merriam-Webster Publishing Word of the Year 2020

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Betting Odds on Merriam-Webster Publishing Word of the Year 2020
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And the odds-on favorite to win Meriam Webster’s Publishing Word of the Year 2020 is … drumroll … COVID-19.
Some of the best sportsbooks the world over rate COVID-19 as the likeliest contender to clinch Meriam Webster’s Publishing Word of the Year 2020, while coronavirus trails closely as the second best bet. Shocker!

Well, not really.

That this pair should top entertainment betting picks can’t come as a surprise to anyone, given the extraordinary and unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that’s tipped the world off its axis over the past few months and changed life as we know it – knew it! – forevermore.

In fact, according to the Entertainment betting odds board, most pandemic-related terms top the charts, including social distancing, self-quarantine, and isolation – all of which are amongst the top ten best bets. It’s fair to say, if a non-pandemic-related word does somehow clinch the honor, it would mark an astonishing upset in betting indeed.

Entertainment Betting

With a limited amount of sports betting options available to trade over the summer across sportsbook platforms, entertainment betting is a fun alternative to spot. Entertainment betting involves betting on events such as the Oscars, Grammys, and BAFTA, or, even, betting on a slew of films, TV shows, and actors. The betting options are never-ending, and bookmakers can get quite creative with the markets they put out for bettors to sink their teeth into. One of which is trying to predict the word of 2020. Arguably, a watershed year of the 21st Century and our time.

What’s THE WOTY?

As internet dependency steadily increased over the last two decades, print in its many forms suffered in proportion – be it newspapers, magazines, books, etc. One book that suffered greatly was the dictionary because with online word searches being so easily accessible and quick to deliver search results the demand for hardcopy dictionaries decreased.

Meriam Webster, an American publishing company best known for its dictionaries, quite shrewdly responded to these decreasing dictionary sales by launching a word of the year contest (abbreviated to WOTY). A marketing and publicity initiative that raises the company’s profile and relevance in the virtual world. The top ten words entered into the competition are determined by online polling and suggestions from visitors to the website, from which the winning word is chosen.

Previous Word of the Year Champions

In 2019, the word of the year chosen by Meriam Webster was ‘they‘. A relatively basic word/term – personal pronoun – that rose to the top of the publisher’s polls and data, largely down to its shifting significance in usage: referring to a person whose gender identity is nonbinary.

‘They’ definitely has political connotations and significance in social discussion. It’s a growing trend in the competition in recent years that sees politically-charged words emerging above the rest more often than not, such as feminism (2017) and justice (2018).

In the competition’s early days, the trend leaned more towards words that were entirely new to the lexicon, such as Blog (2004) and Woot (2007), or, even, made-up words such as truthiness (2006), which was a Stephen Colbert creation.

· Democracy (2003)
· Blog (2004)
· Integrity (2005)
· Truthiness (2006)
· Woot (2007)
· Bailout (2008)
· Admonish (2009)
· Austerity (2010)
· Pragmatic (2011)
· Socialism/Capitalism Co-Winners (2012)
· Science (2013)
· Culture (2014)
· -Ism (2015)
· Surreal (2016)
· Feminism (2017)
· Justice (2018)
· They (2019)
Photo by Pisit Heng

Is Covid-19 or Coronavirus the Better Bet?

Covid-19 is the name given to the novel coronavirus by the World Health Organisation. It’s the technical term for the deadly virus that has wreaked havoc around the world and it is trading as the runaway favorite with Sportsbook Review – at -155 to be named the word of the year.

But is the term Covid-19 really more popular than coronavirus? Well, to compare google trends would suggest otherwise. The search for coronavirus is way more frequent and prevalent than the search for Covid-19 is. One might argue, therefore, betting on coronavirus at +200 is a sound option, if not the better option as evidenced by the search data.

Words such as social distancing, isolation, self-quarantine and lockdown are all in the running but as bywords of the coronavirus pandemic they too rank low in google search terms compared to coronavirus.

Might Other Words Offer Betting Value?

If a non-pandemic-related word emerges, it would be quite the feat. And yet a few practically leap off the page, one of which is: Zoom. Priced at +900 at Sportsbook Review, zoom has quickly become a popular term for communication in this unprecedented time.

Although not directly related to the deadly virus it is a consequence of the pandemic nonetheless, representing the manner in which our daily lives – both in the context of social interaction and how we conduct our work – have changed. Moreover, it embodies all the virus-mandated edits such as self-quarantine, isolation, and lockdown, the tool with which connectivity within society was maintained in previously unimaginable conditions.

Furlough (+1800) and nonessential (+2500) are another two words that are not directly related to the deadly virus but, nonetheless, as by-products of the pandemic, the capture this unique moment in time with their global significance. Each and every nation saw masses furloughed on account of lockdown measures and everywhere governments held up the essential/non-essential measuring stick when making decisions at all levels.

Odds for Meriam Webster Publisher’s Word of the Year 2020

Found on Sportsbook Review

· COVID-19 -155
· Coronavirus +200
· Social Distancing +200
· Covidiot +400
· Self-Quarantine +400
· Pandemic +500
· Work From Home +700
· Isolation +900
· Zoom +900
· Epidemiologist +1000
· Recession +1000
· Disease +1200
· Outbreak +1200
· +1400
· Respiratory +1400
· Community +1600
· Immunocompromised +1600
· Super-spreader +1600
· Asymptomatic +1800
· Furlough +1800
· Panglossian +1800
· Climate Strike +2000
· Election +2000
· Epidemic +2000
· Index Case +2000
· Leadership +2000
· Vaccine +2000
· Apex +2500
· Cancelled +2500
· Fomite +2500
· Lockdown +2500
· Nonessential +2500
· Patient Zero +2500
· Postponed +2500
· Unfactual +2800
· Cottonelle +3300
· Kleenex +3300
· Quilton +3300
· Sorbent +3300

Last Word

Predicting this year’s WOTY with the right entertainment pick is no mean feat. It requires a certain wordsmithing fondness to begin with, and then staying abreast of current events, news, and trends across various online platforms. However, if you can do this, handicapping this entertainment betting market could prove profitable.