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This Is Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year

'Vaccine' wins out for 2021

(Newser) - With an expanded definition to reflect the times, Merriam-Webster has declared an omnipresent truth as its 2021 word of the year: vaccine. “This was a word that was extremely high in our data every single day in 2021,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor-at-large, told the AP ahead of...

Usage of Collins' Word of the Year Jumped 11,000%

Dictionary chooses 'NFT' over 'metaverse'

(Newser) - We've moved on from "lockdown" to the year of the "NFT." Use of the abbreviation for "nonfungible token" jumped more than 11,000% this year, propelling it to the title of Collins Dictionary's word of the year, per the BBC . NFT—defined by Collins...

Oxford English Dictionary Adds 26 Korean Words

They include a term for the world's growing interest in South Korean culture

(Newser) - The Korean wave has swept over the Oxford English Dictionary, which included more than two dozen new entries for words of Korean origin in its latest edition. The dictionary, which describes itself as the "definitive record of the English language," says the growing global popularity of Korean culture...

Dictionary.com Catches Up on Hot Topics, and Also 'Yeet'

A changing world requires new terms and definitions, editor says

(Newser) - More than 300 words and updated definitions have been added to Dictionary.com, in an effort to stay current with surging issues and slang that may or may not stay around long. New terms related to COVID-19, terrorism, racial justice, and technology now are listed; earlier dictionaries had no need...

Dictionary.com's New Words Offer Nod to The Simpsons

Totally cromulent

(Newser) - Dictionary.com appears to have further ruined a 25-year-old joke from The Simpsons with its new batch of words for 2021. A 1996 episode poked fun at fictional Springfield's use of the nonexistent words "cromulent" and "embiggen"—two of 450 new words added to the online...

Inauguration Inspires New Dictionary Entry

Merriam-Webster's volume now includes 'Second Gentleman'

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster is adding more than 500 words and phrases to its dictionary to kick off 2021, including one term inspired by the inauguration. With Doug Emhoff's elevation to the role of "Second Gentleman," the term is "finally common enough to have met our entry criteria,"...

2020 'Left Us Speechless.' The Word of the Year Reflects That

Oxford simply couldn't pick just one

(Newser) - In 2019, Oxford Languages' word (or term, rather) of the year was "climate emergency." In 2020, however, the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary ran into a conundrum : It soon realized that this year has been like no other, and one that simply couldn't be summed up...

One Word of the Year Is Depressingly 2020

'Lockdown' usage up 6K% from 2019: Collins Dictionary

(Newser) - In 2019, there were just 4,000 recorded instances in which the word "lockdown" was used, according to the Collins Dictionary. Of course, we had no idea what was coming. This year, there were more than 250,000 uses for a 6,000% increase, Collins says. It was enough...

Dictionary Changes Its Definition of 'Woman'

But Oxford Dictionaries clings to the notion that the 'b-word' means 'woman'

(Newser) - Oxford University Press has amended its dictionaries after a pressure campaign alleged "derogatory" and "sexist" definitions of the word "woman," the Guardian reports. Among the changes to Oxford Dictionaries: A woman is now listed as "a person's wife, girlfriend, or female lover" instead of...

Woman Gets Dictionary to Redefine Racism

'It's not just "I don't like someone," it's a system of oppression for a certain group of people'

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster currently has, as its first listed definition of racism, "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." A 22-year-old Missouri woman had a problem with that, and as a result,...

Merriam-Webster Reveals Word of 2019

'They:' As one M-W editor puts it, 'So many people were talking about this word'

(Newser) - A common but increasingly mighty and very busy little word, "they," has an accolade all its own. The language mavens at Merriam-Webster have declared the personal pronoun their word of the year based on a 313% increase in look-ups on the company's search site, Merriam-Webster.com , this...

Cartoon 'Spork' Helped Drive Dictionary's Word of the Year

Forky from 'Toy Story 4' understands 'existential' better than many of us, per Dictionary.com

(Newser) - Climate change, gun violence, the very nature of democracy, and an angsty little movie star called Forky helped propel "existential" to Dictionary.com's word of the year. The choice reflects months of high-stakes threats and crises, real and pondered, across the news and the world, and throughout 2019....

M-W in Fighting Mode on One of Its New Words

'They' can now be used as a singular, gender nonbinary pronoun, per Merriam-Webster

(Newser) - "Deep state," "dad joke," and "escape room" may seem ubiquitous in our modern vernacular, but now they're officially part of it. Merriam-Webster has announced the addition of more than 500 words, terms, and new meanings, an etymological evolution it calls "a happy fact...

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

(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...

Merriam-Webster Picks Its Word of the Year

'Justice'

(Newser) - The word of the year, at least in the eyes of Merriam-Webster? "Justice." The dictionary's editor at large tells the AP that M-W isn't "editorializing"—the pick is made largely on a spike in people looking it up throughout the year on the dictionary'...

Scrabble Dictionary Adds Long-Awaited New Words

'OK is now OK. So is 'yowza'

(Newser) - Scrabble players, time to rethink your game because 300 new words are coming your way, including some long-awaited gems: OK and ew, to name a few. Merriam-Webster released the sixth edition of "The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary" on Monday, four years after the last freshening up. The company, at...

Word Invented by Simpsons Now in Dictionary

D'oh, it's 'embiggen'

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster's dictionary just got heavier, with 850 new words added to its pages for 2018. "Self-care," "life hack," "dark chocolate," and "tzatziki" finally got the nod, in addition to "glamping" (glamorous camping with plumbing), "mansplain," "hmm," "...

Guy Re-Writing the Dictionary—in Limericks

Gargantuan project started as a joke

(Newser) - One man's joke has become his mission: to give each word in the dictionary a rhyming definition. Chris Strolin was teasing English buffs in an Oxford English Dictionary forum years ago when he said the dictionary should be rewritten in limericks, reports the AP . He ended up embracing the...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year Is 'Feminism'
Merriam-Webster
Reveals Word of 2017

Merriam-Webster Reveals Word of 2017

Searches for 'feminism' spiked several times

(Newser) - This may or may not come as a surprise: Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2017 is "feminism." Yes, it's been a big year or two or 100 for the word. In 2017, lookups for feminism increased 70% over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and spiked several...

Oxford Dictionary Boasts a New Final Word

'Zyzzyva' has been added, as have 'post-truth,' 'unclick,' and a word describing sperm

(Newser) - And you thought "covfefe" was hard to pronounce. The Oxford English Dictionary has added more than 1,200 new "words, phrases, and senses" to its tome, per a blog post , and among them is an entry that nabs the spot as the last word in the book. "...

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