New words added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary
The lexicographers working for Merriam-Webster are not word snobs. They understand better than anyone that the language is constantly changing, and even the silliest slang deserves a place in the dictionary if used enough. After closely following the evolution of the lexicon, Merriam webster added 455 terms to the dictionary in October 2021.
A lot of newly recognized words reflect our present times. Coronavirus related terms such as super-spreader, breakthrough, and vaccination passport have become common enough to warrant their own entries. Some words are not directly related to COVID but are indicative of the impact of the pandemic on culture. For example, the Merriam-Webster dictionary now includes digital nomadbecause many people have switched to remote work.
As is the case every year, many additions come from the Internet. Merriam-Webster users can now search for definitions of TBH, FTW, and copy-pasta by the resource. The new list also includes many terms that have been around for some time, such as chicharron and misty. You can see 20 notable entries from the new word bundle below.
1. Air fryer (N.)
“An airtight electrical appliance, generally small in size, for the rapid cooking of food by means of convection currents circulating rapidly by a fan. “
“Am I right?” According to Merriam-Webster, the slang term is used to “represent or imitate the use of this sentence as a tag question in informal speech”.
3. Synthetic turf (adj.)
A less common use of the brand name for artificial turf. Astroturf describes an organization or initiative “falsely made to appear at the grassroots”.
4. Breakthrough (N.)
When used in a medical sense, it means “an infection occurring in a person fully vaccinated against an infectious agent”.
5. Chicharron (N.)
“A small piece of pork belly or pork skin that is fried and usually eaten as a snack.”
6. Copypasta (N.)
“Data (such as a block of text) that has been copied and disseminated widely online.” Copypasta is often a source of misinformation or urban legends on the Internet.
7. Daddy’s body (N.)
Defined as “a physique considered typical of an average father,” this common internet slang dates back to 2003.
8. Digital nomad (N.)
“Someone who does their job entirely on the Internet while traveling.”
9. Doorbell camera (N.)
“A small camera designed for use on an exterior door, which includes or connects to a doorbell, and which often has a built-in microphone and speaker.”
10. Falcon (N.)
A hairstyle that is slicked up to look like a Mohawk.
11. Fluffernutter (N.)
The word for a peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich, misty dates back to 1961.
12. Fourth trimester (N.)
The three-month recovery period immediately after childbirth.
13. FTW (ABBRV.)
Abbreviation of “for the victory”.
14. Halotherapy (N.)
“The therapeutic use of salt generally by inhalation of an aerosol composed mainly of fine particles of salt and diffused in an enclosed space. “
15. Horchata (N.)
“A cold sweet drink made with ground rice or almonds and usually flavorings such as cinnamon or vanilla.”
16. Super-spreader (N.)
“A highly contagious individual capable of transmitting a communicable disease to an unusually large number of uninfected individuals.”
17. Oobleck (N.)
“A mixture of corn starch and water that behaves like a liquid at rest and like a solid when pressure is applied.”
18. Otaku (N.)
This word generally described someone with an intense interest in anime and manga.
19. TBH (abbreviation)
Short for “to be honest”.
20. Vaccination passport (N.)
“A physical or digital document providing proof of vaccination against one or more infectious diseases (such as COVID-19).”