Merriam-Webster proved that it is once again hip to the lingual zeitgeist with the addition of 850 new words to the 2018 edition of their dictionary.
The dictionary’s editors, who have previously added popular words like “NSFW” and “ghosting” to its pages, dove deep into the cultural lexicon of the moment in order to come up with a list of the most relevant new terms of our time.
Terms like “dumpster fire” (a disastrous event) and “cryptocurrency” (a digital currency that operates independently of a central bank) are two such additions, as are words used to identify other words, such as “Wanderworts” (meaning words that come from other places, derived from the German words for “wander” and “word”) and “demonym” (a person who comes from a specific place, like a Parisian).
Hybrid words for dog breeds like “chiweenie” (a cross between a Chihuahua and a dachshund), “schnoodle” (a schnauzer and a poodle) and “Yorkie-poo” (a Yorkshire terrier and a poodle) are also now a part of the ever-evolving English language.
Telling terms like “subtweet” and “embiggen” have also marked our casual use of Internet jargon, and words like “bandwidth” and “unicorn” have now taken on new definitions – “emotional or mental capacity” and “a start-up that is valued at one billion dollars or more,” respectively.
Frequently used phrases like “life hack” and “hate-watch” also made the cut, as did more colloquial fare, like “hmm,” “ooh,” “mm-hmm” and “welp” (a remark expressing resignation or disappointment).
In January, the Oxford English Dictionary added its own new 1,000 words, which included a new definition for the term “snowflake,” meaning “an overly sensitive and entitled” individual.