The Best New Additions to Merriam-Webster – March 2018

Wordies, rejoice! Not only because ‘wordie’ is now in the dictionary, but because a whole slew of new words just entered our ‘official’ vocabulary. And mannnnn are there some good ones.

 

Kombucha (n): a somewhat effervescent beverage prepared by fermenting kombucha with black or green tea and sugar.

I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it. Kombucha, for the uninitiated, is a fermented tea product that contains a big ol’ glob of probiotic bacteria. It’s good for your gut (in more ways that one), and tastes absolutely delicious. If you live in San Antonio, try our local kombucha company, Element. Black Dragon is about the best thing you’ll ever put in your mouth. Spicy, sweet, and a little bit smokey. Ohhh man. I’ll be right back.

 

 

Embiggen (Trans v): to make bigger or more expansive.

This is an old classic from The Simpsons. And I do mean a classic. This isn’t from the ‘we might as well because we’re getting paid’ Simpsons, this is from the old Simpsons. In the episode Lisa the Iconoclast, we learn that the Springfield town motto is an old Jebediah Springfield quote: “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.” This became a classic joke amongst Simpsons fans, and I’m glad it’s finally made its way to grace the pages of Merriam-Webster. Now we just have to wait for ‘cromulent’.

 

Schnoodle (n): a cross between a schnauzer and a poodle.

I’m partial to this word because we’ve always had schnoodles in my family. They’ve all had really imaginative names, too. The first was named Snoodle. The second? You guessed it: Twodle. The third kind of broke the mold with ‘Tyson,” but he almost bit my dad’s ear off, so…it was a good fit. They are the best damn dogs in the entire world. It’s a fact. It’s also an awesome portmanteau, and portmanteaus are the best words in the English language.

 

Mansplain (v): to explain something to a woman in a condescending way that assumes she has no knowledge about the topic.

I just love this word. I think we’re all guilty of the dreaded ‘Well, actually…’, but there are some people out there who are worse than others. This one got into the dictionary quick, too. Apparently the first recorded use of ‘mansplain’ was only in 2008. Ten years to get into the dictionary? Right on, feminists. Right on.

 

As sort of an honorable mention, I do want to point out all the awesome interjections that got in this time around. Words like ‘Ooh,’ ‘hmm,’ and ‘welp’ all now grace the pages of our language’s most sacred text. Why does this matter? Because the rise of electronic communication is starting to seep into our mainstream. Shorthand or respelled words are becoming the norm. Language changes. Unacceptable things become acceptable. And it’s happening right in front of our eyes. (!) How exciting.

 

Well, did I miss anything? Did I pass up some of your favorites like ‘Yorkiepoo’ or ‘Silver Alert’? Let me know in the comments.

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