“Orbisculate”, a word coined in CNY, added to the Words With Friends dictionary

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A word that was coined in central New York was added to the dictionary – for Words With Friends, that is.

Mobile game company Zynga, Inc., announced Monday that it has added “orbisculate” to the in-game dictionary for its popular word game, Words With Friends. The Scrabble-like app also made it the “word of the day” and detailed its full etymology on the WWF’s “Definition” page.

Neil Krieger, who died of complications from Covid-19 last year, coined the word ‘orbisculate’ for a class assignment while a student at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in the late 1950s According to the official website orbisculate.com, the word means “accidentally squirting juice and / or pulp” of food, such as a grapefruit, into someone’s eye, body, clothing, or elsewhere.

Krieger’s children, Jonathan Krieger, a Syracuse University alumnus and Hilary Krieger, a Cornell alumnus, said their father used it so often they thought it was a real word for most of it. their life. After his death, they launched an effort to have the word added to official dictionaries in honor of his memory.

“Our father would have had great pleasure to see his creation performed in Words With Friends. Being part of a game that millions of people are playing will help add our father’s word to the vernacular dictionary and ultimately the English language dictionary, ”Jonathan said in a statement.

From left to right: Neil, Susan, Jonathan and Hilary Krieger. The family is trying to get “orbisculate,” a word coined by Cornell University alumnus Neil Krieger, added to the dictionary.Provided

The Kriegers have since gotten the word used by several celebrities, including TV host Ellen DeGeneres, “Girls Trip” star Tiffany Haddish, CNN presenter Jake Tapper, comedian Sarah Silverman and chef Jose Andres.

“Yes, the problem with making a drink that has some sort of lemon twist in it is that the risk is that the lemon could orbit in your eyes,” Silverman said, mimicking a shady face during a “Ellen Show” segment. earlier this month. “And that always leads you to do that.” It’s like a good orbiculation reaction.

Jonathan, who graduated from the League’s Newhouse School in 2007, and Hilary, a Cornell graduate like their father, are also trying to raise funds for the benefit of The village of Carson, a Dallas nonprofit that helps families after the loss of a loved one.

For more information on “orbisculate” and their efforts to get it in the dictionary, visit orbisculate.com.


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