Collins Dictionary has officially recognised TikToker as a real-world, describing it as “someone who shares content on the social media platform TikTok”. TikTok is an app that can be used for creating and sharing short videos. It was initially launched as Douyin in September 2016 in China. The following year, the app was launched by ByteDance for markets outside of China.

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps in Pakistan. According to some estimates, the app has been installed 43 million times in Pakistan, with 14.7 million of those coming in the year 2020 alone.

Other words which have been taken from social media and introduced in the dictionary include ‘BLM’, ‘Mukbang’ and ‘Megixt.


BLM, short for ‘Black Lives Matter’ was widely used on the internet during the recent black lives matter protests, while the term ‘Mukbang’ originating in South Korea refers to people who broadcast videos of themselves eating large quantities of food.

‘Megixt’, which refers to the withdrawal of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from royal duties, has also been given the status of a real word.

Meanwhile, Collins has announced ‘lockdown’ as its Word of The Year in 2020 following a dramatic increase in its usage during the spread of COVID-19.

Lexicographers (a person who compiles dictionaries) said they picked the word because it had become synonymous with the experience of populations across the world as governments look to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the way the pandemic has affected the daily use of language, six of Collins’ 10 words of the year in 2020 are related to the global health crisis.

‘Coronavirus’, ‘social distancing’, ‘self-isolate’ and ‘furlough’ as well as ‘lockdown’ and ‘key worker’ were included in the longer list of 10 words of the year.

Helen Newstead, a language consultant at Collins, said: “Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialise. With many countries entering a second lockdown, it is not a word of the year to celebrate but it is, perhaps, one that sums up the year for most of the world.”

Collins defines ‘lockdown’ as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.