Super-spreader, dad bod, amirite: Merriam-Webster dictionary adds 455 new words to its lexicon

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October 31, 2021 8:31 PM

It stated that the pandemic has seen an increase in the informal nature of texting, messaging and tweeting and it has led to the vocabulary becoming newly rich in efficient as well as abbreviated expression.

However, abbreviations and Gen-Z language are not the only additions to the lexicon. (Representational image: Getty via IE)

Dictionary and new words: Language is an ever-evolving phenomenon, and with it, so do dictionaries. Now, the Merriam-Webster dictionary has decided to add a whopping 455 new words to its dictionary. But they’re not just words. No! The list also includes a number of slang words and abbreviations that have become common usage on social media, according to a report by news agency AP. Announcing its decision, the about 200-year-old company said on its website that just like a language never stops evolving, the dictionary also always continues to expand. It added that in a living language, new terms as well as new uses for terms that already exist continue to come up.

It stated that the pandemic has seen an increase in the informal nature of texting, messaging and tweeting and it has led to the vocabulary becoming newly rich in efficient as well as abbreviated expression. Among the new abbreviations that have been added are TBH, which stands for “to be honest” and FTW, for “for the win”. The latter refers to a phrase that is often used to express support to something, while on social media, it is often used to acknowledge a response that is funny or clever.

Apart from this, “amirite” has also been added to the dictionary. It is a quick way to write “am I right?” “Dad bod” is also now a word that the dictionary recognises as a physique that is typically linked to that of an average father, especially a father who is not exactly muscular and is a little overweight.

However, abbreviations and Gen-Z language are not the only additions to the lexicon. Coronavirus pandemic has also caused new terms to be entered into the dictionary. “Long COVID”, “super-spreader” and “vaccine passport” have been added.

Politics has also lent a few words to the dictionary, with Merriam-Webster having now added “Whataboutism” (“Whataboutery” for Britons) in the lexicon, and it refers to a situation in which an accusation of wrongdoing is responded to by claims of another wrongdoing that was similar or worse.

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