In the past, it took new Merriam-Webster entries a year or more to get on the list. This time, the dictionary claims to follow the internet trends right after they find their start. In 2022, words like “yeet,” “pumpkin spice,” and “pwn” were added to the highly-acclaimed list.
Few New Merriam-Webster Entries Are Not as Fresh
While the online language is not even considered slang by most dictionaries, Merriam-Webster took it upon itself to acknowledge the words from social media and games. Its faster adaptation process received a lot of praise. This year, new Merriam-Webster entries might bring you a laugh, or even shock you! But first, let’s take a look at more aged words added to the dictionary. “Adorkable,” for example, has been around long enough for the millennials to recall – Zooey Deschanel’s role in the sitcom New Girl popularized the word to no extent at the time. It’s a mix of two words – dorky and adorable. Another one, “janky,” meaning “of very poor quality, or not functioning properly” per the dictionary, has been in students’ use for years, too!
One of the new Merriam-Webster entries, surprisingly, comes from the 1985 TV series. “MacGyver” is used as a verb: to fix something with things that you have on hand, hence the name of the character, who’s known for that ability. Moreover, right in time for the season, the term “pumpkin spice” joined the other slang words! “A blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice commonly used in pumpkin pie” doesn’t need a definition since the 2000s, when Starbucks came out with the first seasonal drink. What about the new words? Thankfully, the dictionary laid them out as efficiently.
For the Elders To Learn
Now, millennials and baby boomers can learn the internet words from new Merriam-Webster entries before talking to GenZ. First of all, “yeet” can be used both as a noun and as a verb. “An expression of surprise, approval or excited enthusiasm,” states the dictionary. “To throw something with force and without regard for the thing being thrown,” means the latter. If you’ve ever heard a teenager all something “sus,” then they probably found the person or situation suspicious. “Lewk,” a transformation of the old-school “look” is a noun. “A fashionable look distinctive to the wearer and noticeable and memorable to others,” it describes. What’s even more interesting, some words with the weirdest spelling got into this year’s list of new Merriam-Webster entries.
That includes the verb “pwn,” or in other words, to defeat someone. You pronounce it like “own,” only one letter making the difference. Other entries are: “baller,” a word very popular in rap and hip-hop songs, “hoglet,” “LARP,” “level up,” and even the trending “metaverse,” a virtual world. The Merriam-Webster team agrees that some of the entries can seem over-the-top and undeserving. Nonetheless, they are an important part of our lives. “Some of these words will amuse or inspire, others may provoke debate. Our job is to capture the language as it is used,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, said in a statement.
“Words offer a window into our ever-changing language and culture, and are only added to the dictionary when there is clear and sustained evidence of use.”