Having Fun and Happy New Year – More of the (Please) Now Go-Away Words of 2020

By December 31st, 2020

Blog No 128
December 31, 2020 

Politics and Pandemic

More of the (Please) Go-Away Words of 2020 

READING TIME: Just 7 Minutes
By Mack W. Borgen
Recipient of Eight National Book Awards.  For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/


Two weeks ago, I posted my Blog No. 127 in my continuing presentation of the Best Song Lyrics of Modern America. In an almost passing manner, I closed my blog with a short list of ten of the new words of 2020. This led to an outpouring from many of my readers – a very appreciated outpouring – thank you!! Many of you asked for other words to be included in the list of the 2020 words to be soon dumped and forgotten.

As you will see, some of these words or phrases were introduced prior to 2020. Nevertheless, they are here included because, for various reasons, their use reached both a boiling point and a dumping point in 2020.

In appreciation of you, my readers, and in a weird celebration of this last day of the weird year of 2020, there is an expanded list of “The (25) Words of 2020” to be soon dumped and forgotten.

Alternative Facts: A phrase coined by Kellyanne Conway, the former Senior Counselor to the President, during her Meet the Press interview in January 2017 to defend then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false (but who really cares) assertion that Trump drew the biggest inauguration crowd ever.

Alt-Right: A far-right movement based on rough, vague concepts of white nationalism and antisemitism. One of its leaders, Richard Spencer, described the Alt-Right movement as “identity politics for white people.” Even earlier, when Steve Bannon was running Breitbart News – and obviously before he became a Senior Advisor to President Trump, boasted that his news network was “the platform for the alt-right.”

America First. Variants of this phrase were used throughout the 20th Century; however, President Trump used this phrase and concept of American self-interest to galvanize his base. Upon election, he followed this premise as a partial basis for withdrawing from the Paris climate accords and renegotiating multiple trade agreements.

Antifa: A far-left movement, somewhat like the flip side of the alt-right movement. Some – even most — of its followers have used aggressive tactics and confrontational means to seek to intimidate groups seen by them as authoritarian or racist.

BIPOC: A term for Black, Indigenous and most other people of color. In particular, the identities and experiences of Black and native America communities in the U.S.

Blursday: The fuzzy merging of the time since the pandemic shut down so much of the world, making it difficult to determine what day of the week it is.

Bubble: A small group of individuals who follow the same rules and standards for behavior – and can thus spend time together – during the pandemic,

China Virus: An alternative and intentionally accusatory phrase for Covid-19 which was used frequently by President Trump and his followers to remind American’s of the original source of the virus. Variants of this phrase include the more demeaning phrase “Kung Flu.”

Contact Tracing: A phrase used in public health to describe the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an (Covid-19) infected person and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts.

Covidiot: A pejorative term, for someone who ignores health and safety guidelines intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Deep State. This concept that civil servants and bureaucrats within the political system and the government run a de facto secret government has been in existence for many years, but this concept was advanced loudly and often in the many conspiracy concepts advanced by Trump.

Defund: To withdraw financial support, as in calls by the movement to defund the police, which promotes a public-safety model that shifts resources from law enforcement to community-led social programs and initiatives.

Doomscroll: To addictively thumb through the deluge of bad news shared on social media in 2020, frequently undertaken at bedtime.

Fake News. The derisive term used constantly by Trump and his followers to describe (and implicitly seek to dismiss) any news or piece of information which was inconsistent with the goals or desires of the administration.

Hoax: Like “fake news: this is the all-encompassing word used by Trump to dismiss all multitudes of perceived erroneous facts or inconvenient truths — from climate change to the Mueller Russian investigation, and on and on.

Karen:   A colloquial term for a white woman weaponizing her privilege often at the expense or well-being of a BIPOC individual.

Lockdown: In the context of Covid-019, a lockdown is a restrictive policy for people or a community to stay where they are and amongst only themselves (e.g., small groups, family). In the context of Covid-19, the phrase was also used to describe the many, oftentimes severe, restrictions imposed upon businesses and facilities prior to their opening to the public.

MAGA: Borrowed from Ronald Reagan, the phrase – standing for – “Make America Great Again” became the slogan of many of Trump’s rallies and was presented on hats and endless other forms of political merchandise.

Never Trumper. Originally, the Never Trump movement was a failed attempt by some Republicans to keep Trump from winning the 2016 election. Later, however, it found new expression in anti-Trump groups such as the Lincoln Project and as a generic means of supposedly describing anyone who at a given moment may have opposed President Trump or one of his policies.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Clothing or equipment that is worn or used to provide protection against hazardous substances, environments, or – in the case ofCovid-19, a highly contagious virus.

Quarantini:  The day- or nighttime cocktail many have used to unwind amid remote work and Covid-19 lockdowns.

Second Wave: A phenomenon of infections that can develop during a pandemic. Infections occur first in one group of people. Infections appears to decrease, but then infections increase in a different part of the population resulting in a “second wave” of infections.

Social Distancing: A term for a set of measures to prevent the spread of a contagious disease.

Superspreader:   A person or event responsible for transmitting an infectious disease to many people.

Other Older and Over-used Words, Phrases and Chants Over-used During the Last Year(s).

Collusion                                               Disinformation                                     Enemy of the people

Failing                                                    False and misleading                          Globalist

Herd immunity                                    Lock her up                                          Loser

New Normal                                         Norms                                                    Patient zero

Quid pro quo                                        Resistance                                             Sad!

Self-isolation                                        Seriously not literally                          Triggered

Witch-hunt                                            Zoombombing

And maybe most of all, a closing thought

“If I never read another Tweet ….” 


Emails and response comments and ideas from readers of my December 16, 2020 Blog No 127.
Mersinoglu,Y., indy.com;
Smith, David, “Alternative Facts … The Trump Era in 32 Words and Phrases, The Guardian, Dec. 28, 2020;
Time Magazine, December 21-28, 2020 Issue.




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