‘Fluffernutter’ is officially in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary


Other additions include papa bod, vaccine passport and whataboutism.

Fluffernutter has been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

A local phenomenon – the ‘Fluffernutter’ – made national headlines this week when Merriam-Webster announced the word would be added to its dictionary.

If you know it, you’ll love it: The Fluffernutter is an iconic combination of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff, which was actually invented in Somerville, just outside of Boston. But don’t take our word for it, check out this super official definition:

Okay, the definition says marshmallow creme, but the brand is part of New England history. Somerville celebrates his invention each year with the “What the Fluff” festival, honoring the legacy of one of the first fluff makers, Archibald Query.

According to MarshmallowFluff.com, the origin of the fluff dates back to before World War I, when Query made them at home and sold them door-to-door before wartime shortages forced it to close. After the war, he sold the recipe to two Swampscott High School graduates, H. Allen Durkee and Fred L. Mower, who bought it for $500. Marshmallow Fluff is produced in Lynn to this day, at the Durkee Mower Company factory.

  • For 100 years, Fluff has stayed true to its Somerville roots. But the story is not so simple.

Before the pandemic, thousands of people flocked to Somerville to indulge and celebrate the sweet treat. Chefs and vendors are encouraged to create themed offerings. The fluffernutter is old hat at the festival, and in September people enjoyed infused momos, churros, ice cream cones, beer, cocktails, candy, breadsticks, macaroons and whoopie pies stuffed animals, to name a few.

Merriam-Webster’s decision to include “fluffernutter” in the dictionary may be very empowering for most New Englanders who have had to defend the sticky sandwich from outsiders, but it’s not the only new inclusion. Merriam-Webster added 454 more words to the dictionary, including air fryer, daddy bod, deplatform, vaccine passport, whataboutism, doorbell camera, and more.

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