690 new words added to Merriam-Webster dictionary. What does that mean?

690 new words added to Merriam-Webster dictionary. What does that mean?

(As originally published with additional photos, Fri, September 29th 2023, 6:30 PM EDT)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (TND) — Students have been known to take vocabulary tests but not to learn nearly 700 words at once.

That’s what the folks at Merriam-Webster did this month. They added 690 new words to their dictionary — and say it’s a good thing.

“Signs of a healthy language include words being created, words being borrowed from other languages, and new meanings being given to existing words,” according to the experts. “Based on our most recent research, we are pleased to inform you that English is very (very!) healthy.”

So, without further ado, here are a dozen new words that made their debut — in alphabetical order, of course!

There’s bussing tables at a restaurant, but bussin’ is an adjective from African American English slang that means extremely good or excellent. Especially bussin’ means delicious or tasty.

doggo is a slang word for a dog, as if man’s best friend needed more than three letters.

AI, or artificial intelligence, is all the rage these days, and generative AI is AI that’s capable of generating new content (such as images or text) in response to a submitted prompt (such as a query) by learning from a large reference database of examples. Got it?

The word girlboss may sound archaic but it’s also new, not listed under slang, and means an ambitious and successful woman, especially a businesswoman or entrepreneur.

GOAT stands for greatest of all time but GOATED, which can also be spelled lowercase, is a slang adjective for something considered to be the greatest of all time. (Example: “The National Desk is GOATED (or the most goated) for its new sources around the country.”)

The word mid sounds like one would expect. It’s an informal adjective for neither very good nor very bad, so-so, or meh.

Nerf is a toy company but nerf in gaming is an informal verb that means to reduce the effectiveness of (something, such as a character, attribute, or weapon) in a video game. It also means to make (something) less useful or effective, or even to lightly bump (another car) in an automobile race.

ngl is an abbreviation often found in text messages. It stands for not gonna lie, or not going to lie.

The phrase quiet quit has been used in news about employment. It’s when someone does the minimum amount of work required for a job; they engage in quiet quitting.

Razz means to tease playfully but rizz has a different meaning. It’s a slang noun for romantic appeal or charm.

Phishing is sending fraudulent emails or other messages to someone in order to trick the person into revealing personal or confidential information. A new similar word, smishing, is more specific. It’s simply doing that by sending text messages.

A person may be thirsty for something other than a drink, so a thirst trap is a photograph (such as a selfie) or video shared for the purpose of attracting attention or desire. It’s also someone or something that attracts attention or strong desire.

Keep in mind, though the words and phrases are now part of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, don’t expect your computer’s spellcheck system to automatically let them pass without saying something.

Click here to see more of the new words, by category.

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