These Words Are Now Dictionary-Official
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Fellow word nerds, rejoice! Merriam-Webster, makers of our trusty dictionary, just announced OVER 500 new word additions in 2021 (good thing no one keeps a hard copy anymore, amiright?!).
I’m always fascinated to see which words are deemed important enough to be inducted into the dictionary, especially since many have to do with how our culture has evolved, our reliance on digital communication and of course, major worldwide events. To no one’s surprise, there are a few COVID-era additions, including “COVID-19,” itself, which was added in a record 34 days. New definitions for the words “long-hauler” (a person who experiences one or more long-term effects following initial improvement or recovery from a serious illness (such as COVID-19)) and “pod” (a usually small group of people (such as family members, friends, coworkers, or classmates) who regularly interact closely with one another but with few or no others in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection during an outbreak of a contagious disease), were also added.
Beyond pandemic-related diction, here are a handful of dictionary additions I found particularly interesting this year:
- Hard pass : a firm refusal or rejection of something (such as an offer)
- @ informal : to respond to, challenge, or disparage the claim or opinion of (someone) —usually used in the phrase don’t @ me
- Flex informal : an act of bragging or showing off
- Cancel culture : the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure
- Coworking : being, relating to, or working in a building where multiple tenants (such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, or nonprofits) rent working space (such as desks or offices) and have the use of communal facilities
- BIPOC (abbreviation) : Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color
- Folx : folks —used especially to explicitly signal the inclusion of groups commonly marginalized
- ASMR or autonomous sensory meridian response : a pleasant tingling sensation that originates on the back of the scalp and often spreads to the neck and upper spine, that occurs in some people in response to a stimulus (such as a particular kind of sound or movement), and that tends to have a calming effect
And, just days before Doug Emhoff became our country’s first, the word “Second Gentleman” became dictionary-offish. As Merriam-Webster shared, “the term is not new, but it’s finally common enough to have met our entry criteria.” *clapping emoji*
So, if you’re like me and geek out over finding the perfect word to fit any scenario, bookmark Dictionary.com and get ready to spice up your sentences in 2021!
Posted by Erin