If you regularly use words like “adorbs,” “bougie,” “zoodles,” “hangry,” “hopheads,” “GOAT,” “avo” or its cousin “guac,” you’re in luck because they’ve officially arrived — by being added to the online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
“The one constant of a vibrant living language is change, and English has never been more alive than it is today,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large at Merriam-Webster. “In this age of fast communication and technological and scientific advances, we continuously encounter new ways of describing the world around us — and the dictionary is a record of these changes.”
That’s exactly what Merriam-Webster has been doing since its founding 187 years ago, when it’s not winning the internet and social media by sharing on-point GIFs and keeping its finger on the pulse of today’s ever-changing world for its thousands of followers.
“As lexicographers, we are constantly tracking the ever-expanding lexicon, only defining the words that have demonstrated the kind of widespread, sustained and meaningful use that shows they’ve become fully established members of the language,” said Associate Editor Emily Brewster. “Meanwhile, the language continues to do what it’s been doing for as long as it’s existed: grow and adapt to meet the needs of the people who use it.”
A sampling of new words from Merriam-Webster
This year’s new words list from Merriam-Webster covers everything from science and technology (fintech, biohacking) to food and drink (zoodles, mocktail) to social issues and gender identity (tent city, Latinx).
So without further ado, let’s take a look at what made the cut this year — and what is likely to make your spellcheck see red.
• time suck
• force quit