You may be more familiar with some of the new words Merriam Webster added to its dictionary than others. Earlier this month, 370 words were added to the lexicon, including:
Pumpkin spice. Autumn is pumpkin spice season. The flavor, which is now two decades old, is available in lattes, candles, pancake mix, lip balm, beer and deodorant, among other items. It also can be found in the dictionary where it is defined as “a mixture of usually cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and often allspice that is commonly used in pumpkin pie.”
Yeet. Even though ‘yeet’ was the American Dialect Society’s slang word of the year in 2018, Merriam Webster did not add it to the dictionary until this year. They explained, “When a new word starts making the rounds, we don’t just yeet it into the dictionary the first time we encounter it.” Yeet is slang, “used to express surprise, approval, or excited enthusiasm” or “to throw especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown.”
Magnet fishing. Rather than tie a hook on a line and cast for fish, magnet fishers are hoping to attract sunken treasures. The activity is a meld of environmentalism and treasure hunting that is defined as, “the sport or hobby of using a strong magnet attached to the end of a rope to find metal objects in bodies of water.”
Some of the new entries are abbreviated versions of words that have been part of our vocabulary for a long time. This may be the inevitable outcome of adapting to text and social media communications. See if you can guess the longer version of these new words:
If you get stumped, visit merriam-webster.com or give us a call.