Look Up 'Snowflake.' It's Got a New Meaning in the Dictionary

Merriam-Webster adds derogatory meaning for common word, plus a whole lot of other new words
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2019 8:30 AM CDT
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In this Nov. 16, 2012, file photo, Egyptian bodybuilder Moustafa Ismail lifts free weights during his daily workout in Milford, Mass. On Monday, Merriam-Webster added the definition of "swole" to its online dictionary, with the meaning "extremely muscular: having a physique enhanced by bodybuilding...   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File)
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(Newser) – Get swole, prepare a bug-out bag, grab a go-cup, and maybe you'll have a better chance of surviving the omnicide. Translation: Hit the gym and bulk up, put a bunch of stuff essential for survival in an easy-to-carry bag, grab a drink for the road, and perhaps you'll live through a man-made disaster that could wipe out the human race. "Swole," "bug-out bag," "go-cup," and "omnicide" are just a few of the 640 additions to Merriam-Webster's dictionary added Monday, per the AP. The latest additions include mostly new words or phrases, but also some old words with new meanings or applications:

  • Snowflake: Now it carries the usually disparaging meaning of "someone who is overly sensitive," per Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large.

  • EGOT: A noun that refers to an entertainer who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg are among the elite group.
  • Unplug: In addition to literally tugging an electric plug from a wall socket, but now, it also has a more metaphorical meaning, as in to disconnect from social media.
  • Garbage time: Those painful final minutes of a game when one team has an insurmountable lead and both teams empty their benches has been around since 1960, but is on the latest list of new words.

"We need the dictionary more than ever now that we have information flying at us from all directions," says Sokolowski. Check out more additions here.

(Read more dictionary stories.)

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