Home Culture Culture News

‘NSFW,’ ‘Shade,’ ‘Truther’ Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“Ghosting,” “first world problem” and “binge-watch” also officially added after years of use

Merriam-Webster, dictionary, new dictionary words, dictionary adds words, nsfw dictionary, shade dictionary, truther dictionary, merriam-webster adds words,

The Merriam-Webster dictionary incorporated a slew of new words and definitions.

DWD-Media/Alamy

Merriam-Webster announced the addition of roughly 1,000 new words to the cultural lexicon on Tuesday. In a statement, the dictionary’s chief digital officer and publisher, Lisa Schneider, called the incorporation of new terms “a significant addition to our online dictionary, reflecting the breadth of English vocabulary and the speed with which we seek information.”

Several of the new words stem from common practices related to smartphone use and streaming, including “NSFW,” “binge-watch,” “photobomb,” “ghosting” and “shade.” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, discussed the inclusion of “shade” in an interview with Associated Press. “This is social media speaking,” he said. “What I like about it is that it assumes a very highly informed reader. It assumes you will get the whole joke.”

But Schneider cautioned users against a one-dimensional portrayal of Merriam-Webster’s recent additions. “Even though it seems that the latest slang gets the most attention when dictionaries issue lists of new words, the additions come from the whole range of registers and from every corner of the language,” she noted. “In some cases, terms have been observed for years and are finally being added; in others, the fast rise and broad acceptance of a term has made for a quicker journey.”

Other new words were pulled from the recent discussions around pervasive social inequality (“first world problem,” “microaggression”), children’s literature (“Seussian”) and cognitive science (try “prosopagnosia,” defined as “the inability to recognize faces”). “Conlang” was added to describe made-up languages, like Klingon in Star Trek, while “snollygoster” (“a shrewd, unprincipled person”), dropped from the dictionary in 2003 because it fell out of use, was added back into the mix after Bill O’Reilly started saying it again.

Peruse more new words at Merriam-Webster’s website.

Show Comments

Newswire

Powered by
Close comments

Add a comment