The team over at Merriam-Webster is responsible for keeping a vigilant eye on shifting language trends. They’ve made some pretty bold moves recently (like declaring that a hot dog is a sandwich). Now, they’re adding over 1000 new words to the dictionary, some of which are sure to raise a few eyebrows.
As you might expect, the latest batch features plenty of internet-bred slang terms. If you’ve ever been at a loss when someone tells you they just finished binge-watching their favorite NSFW mumblecore films, Merriam-Webster can now help you translate. The new entries also include words related to fields like sports, medicine, and politics. For a sample of the most recent additions to the dictionary, refer to the listicle below:
1. AIRBALL (V.)
To completely miss the basket, rim, and backboard with a shot: to shoot an air ball.
2. BINGE-WATCH (V.)
To watch many or all episodes of (a TV series) in rapid succession.
3. BOKEH (N.)
The blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field.
4. CONLANG (N.)
An invented language.
5. ELDERFLOWER (N.)
The flower of an elderberry (such as Sambucus nigra) used especially in making wines, liqueurs, and teas.
6. FACE-PALM (V.)
To cover one’s face with the hand as an expression of embarrassment.
7. FAST FASHION (N.)
An approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.
8. FIRST WORLD PROBLEM (N.)
A usually minor or trivial problem or annoyance experienced by people in relatively affluent or privileged circumstances especially as contrasted with problems of greater social significance facing people in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world.
9. FOOD INSECURE (ADJ.)
Unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.
10. GHOST (V.)
To abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.
11. GINGER (N.)
A person with red hair.
12. HUMBLEBRAG (V.)
To make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities or achievements.
13. LISTICLE (N.)
An article consisting of a series of items presented as a list.
14. MICROAGGRESSION (N.)
A comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).
15. MICROBIOME (N.)
A community of microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that inhabit a particular environment and especially the collection of microorganisms living in or on the human body.
16. MUMBLECORE (N.)
A genre of narrative film focusing primarily on the intimate lives of young characters and featuring scenes of ample dialogue and minimal action.
17. NSFW (ABBR.)
Not safe for work; not suitable for work—used to warn someone that a website, email attachment, etc., is not suitable for viewing at most places of employment.
18. PAREIDOLIA (N.)
The tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.
19. PHOTOBOMB (V.)
To move into the frame of a photograph as it is being taken as a joke or prank.
20. PING (N.)
A signal sent from one computer to another across a network for usually diagnostic purposes (as to determine network speed or the status of the target computer).
21. PROSOPAGNOSIA (N.)
An inability to recognize faces.
22. SAFE SPACE (N.)
A place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations.
23. SEUSSIAN (ADJ.)
Of, relating to, or suggestive of the works of Dr. Seuss.
24. SIDE-EYE (N.)
A sidelong glance or gaze especially when expressing scorn, suspicion, disapproval, or veiled curiosity.
25. TRAIN WRECK (N.)
An utter disaster or mess: a disastrous calamity or source of trouble.
26. TRUTHER (N.)
One who believes that the truth about an important subject or event is being concealed from the public by a powerful conspiracy.
27. WAYBACK (N.)
The area in the back of a van, station wagon, or SUV.
28. WEAK SAUCE (N.)
Something inferior, ineffective, or unimpressive: something weak.
29. WOO-WOO (ADJ.)
Dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific.
30. YOWZA (INTERJ.)
Used to express surprise or amazement.