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Merriam-Webster Adds 150 New (and Weird) Words to Dictionary


If you were secretly hoping that words like "selfie," "tweep" and "unfriend" would fail to catch on, prepare to have those hopes dashed: Merriam-Webster just validated all those non-words, along with 147 more.

For their 2014 editions of both print and online dictionaries, Merriam-Webster has added 150 new entries and definitions for internet slang, pop culture phrases and even new culinary terminology. Some inclusions aren't terribly surprising — like the use of the word "brilliant" to mean "excellent" rather than bright, or the term "baby bump" to describe a pregnant belly — but others seem to indicate that Merriam-Webster is whole-heartedly embracing the lexicon of a younger, tech-savvy generation.

For instance, a whole host of internet-derived language made this year's cut, including "selfie" and "unfriend" (as mentioned above), along with words like "crowdfunding" ("the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people esp. from the online community") and "catfish" ("a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes"). Techy words "e-waste," "hash tag," and "hot spot" were just a few more.

"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods," said Merriam-Webster Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski, explaining that the internet has especially changed business "in profound ways."

A few of Merriam-Webster's more interesting additions concern themselves with food, like the word "turducken" to describe "a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey," as well as foreign dishes and terms such as "pho" (a Vietnamese noodle soup), "pepitas" (toasted pumpkin seeds) and "poutine" (a Canadian dish of french fries with gravy and cheese curds). 

And for residents of Michigan, Merriam-Webster has finally put the word "Yooper" on the books, allowing you to more legitimately distance yourself from those other Michigan residents who live slightly north of you in the desolate reaches of the Upper Peninsula.

For more new entries that will surely set off your word processor's spell-checker, head over to Merriam-Webster Online or