FROM THE BLOG

Which Words Made the Cut?

definitions recently added to the dictionary

The influence of technology and social networking in our world couldn’t be more obvious with these  150 new definitions recently added to the dictionary by Merriam Webster, including “hashtag,” “selfie” and “tweep.”

hashtag n (2008): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text, such as a tweet

selfie n (2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera, especially for posting on social networks

tweep n (2008): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets

The popular television show Catfish gained more recognition with the addition of the word and definition to the dictionary. Now, Catfish doesn’t just refer to a type of fish, but also includes the reference to a person who sets up a false social networking profile to deceive others.

The update of the Collegiate’s 11th edition also included social networking, “the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships, especially online,” and unfriend “to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person’s social networking web site.”

Food terminology was also added to the dictionary with words like pho, “a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles,” and turducken, “a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.”

“These are words our editors have decided to put in based on usage in the English language,” said Merriam-Webster spokeswoman Meghan Lunghi. “They look for widespread, sustained usage and when they think the usage merits it, they include it.”

The definitions recently added to the dictionary

Auto-Tune (v., 2003): to adjust or alter (a recording of a voice) with Auto-Tune software or other audio-editing software esp. to correct sung notes that are out of tune

baby bump (n., 2003): the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman

big data (n., 1980): an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools

brilliant (adj., new sense): British: very good, excellent

crowdfunding (n., 2006): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people esp. from the online community

digital divide (n., 1996): the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not

dubstep (n., 2002): a type of electronic dance music having prominent bass lines and syncopated drum patterns

e-waste (n., 2004): waste consisting of discarded electronic products (as computers, televisions, and cell phones)

ewaste

fangirl (n., 1934): a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something

fracking (n., 1953): the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)

freegan (n., 2006): an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources

gamification (n., 2010): the process of adding game or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation

hot spot (n., new sense): a place where a wireless Internet connection is available

insource (v., 1983): to procure (as some goods or services needed by a business or organization) under contract with a domestic or in-house supplier

motion capture (n., 1992): a technology for digitally recording specific movements of a person (as an actor) and translating them into computer-animated images

paywall (n., 2004): a system that prevents Internet users from accessing certain Web content without a paid subscription

pepita (n., 1942): the edible seed of a pumpkin or squash often dried or toasted

pumpkin with pepitas

poutine (n., 1982): chiefly Canada: a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds

spoiler alert (n., 1994): a reviewer’s warning that a plot spoiler is about to be revealed

steampunk (n., 1987): science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology

Yooper (n., 1977): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname

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