New Words Added to the Dictionary – May 2015

atkins-bookshelf-wordsIn late May 2015, the editors of the Merriam-Webster, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, proudly announced that they had added 1,700 new words to their online unabridged dictionary. Of course, the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary added many of these words years and months ago, but you have to give the Americans credit for trying to keep up with British lexicographers — and the rapidly evolving English language largely due to the impact of the internet, and social media in particular. The editors wrote: “As of last week, [Merriam-Webster’s online unabridged dictionary] has grown by more than 1,700 entries, and existing entries have expanded by more than 700 new senses. We’ve added 3,200 examples that provide contextual information, and another 200 entries for some of the words people most frequently look up have been updated and enhanced. Bookshelf presents some of the words, new to the Merriam-Webster corpus:

click-fraud: fraud committed by clicking through an a website ad many times to spuriously increase the cost to the advertiser

click-bait: an area on a website (e.g., a headline or photo) that entices a reader to click on the hyperlink, that leads them to a site with dubious content

eggcorn: “a slip or the ear ” or a malaprop; a word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a believable way. For example, people often say “for all intensive purposes” when they actually mean “for all intents and purposes.” The word was coined by Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist, based on the misuse of “egg corn” for “acorn.”

emoji: a small image, icon, or symbol meant to convey emotion in a text message or email

meme: an idea or behavior that spreads from person to person in a culture; or an item (e.g., a photo or video) that spreads via social media

NSFW: textese for Not Safe for Work or Not Suitable for Work; i.e., an email or website that should not be viewed in the workplace for obvious reasons

photobomb: to jump into the frame of a photo while it is being taken, meant as a prank

WTF: textese for What the Fuck. A completely socially acceptable way to say the F-word without actually using it. F-ing Brilliant!

Read related posts: Words with Letters in Alphabetical Order
What is the Longest Word in English Language?
Word Oddities: Fun with Vowels

What is an Abecedarian Insult?
Difficult Tongue Twisters
Rare Anatomy Words
What Rhymes with Orange?

For further reading:

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