The lexicographers who work at Merriam-Webster are not snobbish about words. They understand better than anyone that language is constantly evolving, and even the stupidest slang deserves a place in the dictionary if it is used wide enough. After following the lexical changes closely, Merriam-Webster added 455 terms to the dictionary in October 2021.
Many of the newly recognized words reflect our current times. Coronavirus-related terms, for example super-spreader, breakthrough, and vaccine passport they have become common enough to secure their income. Some words are not directly related to COVID, but are indicative of the impact the pandemic has on culture. For example, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary now includes it digital nomad, as many people have moved to remote work.
As is the law every year, many add-ons were created on the internet. Merriam-Webster users can now search for definitions TBH, FTW, and copypasta through the resource. The new list also includes many terms that have been around for a long time, e.g. grasshopper and fluffnutter. Below you can see 20 notable entries from the new set of words.
1. Air fryer (N.)
“An airtight electrical appliance for the rapid flow of convection currents through a convection current, usually small.”
2. amirita (interj.)
“Am I right?” According to Merriam-Webster, the term slang is used to “use or imitate the use of this phrase as a question mark in informal speech.”
3. Astroturf (adj.)
The less common use of the brand name for artificial grass. Astroturf describes an organization or initiative that is “falsely made to appear in town”.
4. Progress (N.)
When used in a medical sense, it means “an infection that occurs in someone who is completely embedded against an infectious agent.”
5. Chicharron (N.)
“A small piece of pork belly or pork skin that is fried and eaten as a snack.”
6. Copypasta (N.)
“Data that is copied and disseminated on the Internet (such as a block of text)”. Copypasta are often a source of misinformation or urban legends on the internet.
7. Father’s body (N.)
Defined as a “physical that is considered common in an ordinary father,” this common slang on the Internet dates back to 2003.
8. Digital Nomad (N.)
“Someone who completely fulfills his profession via the Internet while traveling.”
9. Bell Camera (N.)
“A small camera designed for use on an outside door that includes or connects a ringer and often includes a microphone and speaker.”
10. Fake Black (N.)
A Mohawk-like upstairs hairstyle.
11. Fluffernutter (N.)
The word peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, fluffnutter It is from 1961.
12. Fourth quarter (N.)
Three-month recovery period after delivery.
13. FTW (ABBRV.)
Abbreviation for “win”.
14. Halotherapy (N.)
“The therapeutic use of salt is usually by inhaling an aerosol composed mainly of fine salt particles and circulating in a closed area.”
15. Ortxata (N.)
“A cold drink made with ground rice or almonds and usually with flavors like cinnamon or vanilla.”
16. Super-spreader (N.)
“To a large number of uninfected people who are highly contagious and unable to transmit a contagious disease.”
17. Oobleck (N.)
“A mixture of cornstarch and water that acts as a liquid at rest and as a solid when pressure is applied.”
18. Otaku (N.)
This word usually describes someone with a keen interest in anime and manga.
19. TBH (short)
the abbreviation “be honest”.
20. Vaccine Passport (N.)
“A physical or digital document (e.g., COVID-19) proving vaccination against one or more infectious diseases.”