Words will continue to be spoken as long as people keep talking.
Merriam-Webster has added 455 new entries into its dictionary, including terms from the political, cultural, and technical worlds. This new set of words is reflective of a rapidly changing digital landscape. Trendier terms such as "deplatform" or "copypasta" are included alongside technical entries like "teraflop", "bit rot" and others like "bit rot". Many pandemic-specific terms such as "long COVID", "super-spreader", and other phrases are appropriate to the current times.
How are new words chosen? Merriam-Webster editors search written materials throughout the year to identify words that appear online or in print. According to the publisher's guidelines new words can be added based on their frequency and whether they are used in the general population or in a highly specialized area.
This update includes some notable additions (and definitions).
Air fryer: An electrical appliance that cooks food quickly using convection currents.
amirite is slang for "am I correct?" to signify or imitate informal use of the phrase. Example: English spelling is inconsistent, amirite?
Because: By reason of: Sometimes used to convey vagueness about the reasons for something. The preposition because can be used in many ways. It can be used to avoid getting too technical (the process works because of science) or to simply dismiss explanations (they left because of reasons).
Copypasta is data that has been copied online, such as a block or text. Copypasta can either be lighthearted or serious, and can include a cultural or political message.
Dad bod informal: A physique that is typical of a father, especially one that is not very muscular and slightly overweight.
Deplatform: To remove or ban (a registered user from a mass communications medium such as a blog or social networking site) broadly: To prevent having or providing a platform for communicating.
Fluffernutter is a sandwich with peanut butter and marshmallow crme sandwiched between two slices white sandwich bread.
Long COVID is a condition marked by symptoms such as fatigue, cough and shortness of breath that persists for a prolonged period of time.
Oobleck is a corn starch-water mixture that behaves as a liquid at rest, and as a solid under pressure. Oobleck is named after Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew, Bartholomew, and the Oobleck story. It is a popular component in science experiments for kids.
Super-spreader is an event where a large number of people contract the same communicable diseases. This noun is often used before another one (as in a superspreader event). In the past, super-spreader was a highly contagious individual capable of spreading a disease to others. However, it can now also refer to an event or place where many people are infected.
TBH is an abbreviation of "to be truthful". TBH is a common acronym used in text messaging and social media.
A vaccine passport is a digital or physical document that provides proof of vaccination against one or several infectious diseases (such COVID-19).
Whataboutism is the act or practice to respond to an accusation by claiming that another offense was similar or worse than your own. This is the response. British English is more familiar with the term whataboutery.
We are hoping that "dad bod", the Scripps National Spelling Bee's next winner, will be there. Merriam-Webster has more information about the 455 new words.