Oof, Y'all, Dictionary.com Just Added Over 300 New Words And Definitions
While some of them might be enough to make you say "oof," the over 300 new words and definitions added to Dictionary.com during its most recent round of updates reflect the realities of our rapidly changing world.
Words that have been popularized by the coronavirus pandemic, technological advances and racial reckoning across the U.S. are now on the popular dictionary website, which is based on the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
"The latest update to our dictionary continues to mirror the world around us," said John Kelly, Dictionary.com's managing editor. "It's a complicated and challenging society we live in, and language changes to help us grapple with it."
After more than a year of online and hybrid learning, students are likely familiar — maybe too familiar — with two of the additions: definitions of "asynchronous" and "synchronous."
People who experience lingering symptoms after contracting COVID-19 will recognize the term "long hauler," which makes its debut.
This week's update is the first made to the site's offerings since spring 2021, when words such as "doomscrolling" and African American Vernacular English variants such as "chile" and "finna" were added.
The latest additions include a number of words popularized by Black Americans online.
"We can thank Black social media for the fun — and multifunctional — smash slang hit of yeet, variously used as a joyful interjection or verb for forms of quick, forceful motions," Dictionary.com editors noted in a post about the updates. "We can thank artist Ty Dolla $ign for popularizing the zesty zaddy, an alteration of daddy that means 'an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self confident.'"
Initialisms like DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) also made the dictionary, alongside CW (content warning) and TW (trigger warning), media alerts often shared before discussing potentially upsetting or violent topics.
New definitions have also been introduced, including one for "y'all," which has been added to the dictionary as its own entry, separate from "you-all." The word, commonly associated with Southern American English and Black English, has been recognized by Dictionary.com as one that now communicates an informal tone more than it does regional identity, and one that has become popular among younger demographics for its inclusivity.
"Y'all has new popularity among former you guys users, who now appreciate the lack of gender associations with y'all," according to the Dictionary.com post.
Josie Fischels is an intern on NPR's News Desk. [Copyright 2021 NPR]