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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... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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,... More »

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... More »

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.... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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'... More »

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... More »

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," "... More »

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... More »

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... More »

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. "... More »

New on Merriam-Webster: Ghosting, Shade, and More

The dictionary people added 1K or so new words on Tuesday

(Newser) - In addition to elevating "surreal" in 2016 to word of the year, Merriam-Webster on Tuesday added about 1,000 new words and new definitions to existing listings on its website, the AP reports. Among 17 of the latest disclosed by the company are: "arancini," those stuffed, breaded,... More »

M-W Word of the Year Proves 2016 Was Nuts

Merriam-Webster chooses 'surreal'

(Newser) - You're not the only one who'd describe 2016 as "surreal." Merriam-Webster has chosen the synonym for "unbelievable"—officially defined as "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream"—as its word of the year, noting searches for "surreal" spiked following... More »

Online Dictionary Pleads for Public's Help With 'Fascism'

That's Merriam-Webster's most-searched word of 2016, and it wants to change that

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster sent out a tweet this week subtly asking for help from the public in fixing the situation surrounding the lead contender for its "word of the year" honors. "'Fascism' is still our #1 lookup," it informed Twitter. "There's still time to look something... More »

This Word of the Year Is 'a Sentiment to Be Fought'

Dictionary.com chooses 'xenophobia'

(Newser) - Last year, Dictionary.com chose "identity" as its word of the year because "many of the year's biggest stories focused on the way in which individuals or members of a group are perceived, understood, accepted, or shut out." Along those same lines, the website has this... More »

Oxford English Dictionary Quietly Adds Tamil Slang 'Aiyo'

'The OED has admitted a rare word of power into its pages'

(Newser) - In the latest quarterly update of the Oxford English Dictionary, there was great rejoicing when, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth, words such as "splendiferous" and "human bean" joined the great heap of our language's modern lexicon. More quietly, the Tamil slang... More »

Here Are the Latest Additions to Oxford English Dictionary

'Yolo' made the cut

(Newser) - The latest slang to be added to the Oxford English Dictionary: "yolo," which, as all the youngsters know, stands for "you only live once." The new crop of more than 1,000 words and terms added to the OED also includes "gender-fluid," "yogalates"... More »

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