Sexting, F-Bomb, and Mash-up Added to the Dictionary

    August 14, 2012
    Josh Wolford

As a word nerd, it’s always fun to see new words enter the lexicon. Language is constantly evolving, and every so often our dictionaries must adapt to the changing landscape.

And a lot of the time, that means creating official entries for words engendered from pop culture, technology, and the internet.

Now, if you look through the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, you’ll likely see a few new words that you’re probably already familiar with – you know, from everyday speech and all. Official dictionaries can’t quite keep up with the rapid pace of language evolution, but you have to commend them for doing what they can.

And this year, that means adding new words like “sexting” to the official dictionary.

Other tech/internet-related words gaining entry this year include “mash-up” and “cloud computing.”

On the pop culture side, you have things like “man cave,” “earworm,” and “aha moment.”

And then you have the most controversial new entry, “f-bomb.” or “the word f*ck —used metaphorically as a euphemism.”

From a blog post:

“Some of the new words this year provide colorful images,” says Merriam-Webster Editor at Large Peter Sokolowski. “Terms like ‘man cave,’ ‘underwater’ (when used to describe mortgages), ‘earworm,’ and ‘bucket list’ paint vivid pictures in your mind. They show that English-speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them.” Merriam-Webster’s editors monitor the changing language and add new terms to the dictionary once those words come into widespread use across a variety of publications.

In all, 16 new words were added for 2012 –

  1. aha moment
  2. bucket list
  3. cloud computing
  4. copernicium
  5. earworm
  6. energy drink
  7. f-bomb
  8. game changer
  9. gassed
  10. gastropub
  11. man cave
  12. mash-up
  13. sexting
  14. systemic risk
  15. underwater
  16. f-bomb

By comparison, many of these words seem rather commonplace. Last year, the Oxford English Dictionary (online editions) added OMG, BFF, LOL, Twittersphere, NSFW, and newb.


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf