Scrabble just got a whole lot hipper.
Online dictionary Merriam-Webster announced on February 7 that it has added more than 1,000 new words to its catalogue, drawing from pop culture, science, foreign languages, sports, medicine, and more.
New additions include “humblebrag,” “binge-watch,” “EVOO” (extra virgin olive oil), “SCOTUS,” and “FLOTUS.” “Ghost” now doesn’t just refer to a paranormal spirit, but also to the act of cutting off contact with someone by ignoring their texts and phone calls.
The dictionary has also immortalised “ride shotgun,” “throw shade,” “side eye,” “weak sauce,” and “face-palm.” And reflecting the public’s political sensitivities, it has also included “microaggression,” “first world problem,” “food insecure,” and “safe space.”
Occasionally, the dictionary will take words out, too. “Snollygoster,” referring to an unprincipled person, especially an unprincipled politician, was removed in 2003 but was just added back, in part because conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly has been using it frequently in recent years.
Merriam-Webster adds thousands of new words each year in an effort to stay current with common usage. Last April, for example, it added more than 2,000 new words. Among them: “FOMO” (fear of missing out), “athleisure,” “bitcoin,” and “meet-cute.”
The dictionary also puts out an annual Word of the Year. Though “irregardless,” “bigly,” and “revenant” were all close contenders, the official 2016 word was “surreal.”
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