Word to the wise: Carefully read these new terms and definitions

In case you missed it, and for what it’s worth, Merriam-Webster has just added the abbreviations ICYMI and FWIW to its dictionary – along with 368 other new words from the realms of finance, business, tech, health, work, fun, slang and more.

In case you missed it, and for what it’s worth, Merriam-Webster has just added the abbreviations ICYMI and FWIW to its dictionary – along with 368 other new words from the realms of finance, business, tech, health, work, fun, slang and more.

New words and definitions must continually be added in order to accurately reflect the evolving lexicon, the nearly 200-year-old US publisher said, noting that dictionaries chronicle how our language grows and changes.

Of course, lexicographers can’t just ‘yeet’ any old new word into the dictionary. There is a set of criteria that must first be met, starting with a word’s eligibility for inclusion.

“Words offer a window into our ever-changing language and culture, and are only added to the dictionary when there is clear and sustained evidence of use,” Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said, almost one year since the previous additions were made.

“Some of these words will amuse or inspire, others may provoke debate. Our job is to capture the language as it is used.”

Among the financial additions are ‘shrinkflation’ (reducing a product’s amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price), ‘unbanked’ (not having money deposited in a bank), ‘underbanked’ (not using or having access to a full range of banking options) and ‘gift economy’ (a system in which goods and services are given freely rather than sold or bartered)

A few terms we’re surprised hadn’t already hit the big time include ‘supply chain’ (the chain of processes, businesses, etc by which a commodity is produced and distributed), ‘side hustle’ (work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job), ‘use case’ (a use to which a product or service can be put) and ‘altcoin’ (any cryptocurrency regarded as an alternative to established ones, especially to Bitcoin).

Compound your vocabulary with ‘dumbphone’ (a mobile without ‘smart’ features), ‘greenwash’ (to make something appear less environmentally damaging than it is), ‘metaverse’ (a persistent computing environment that allows access to multiple virtual realities), ‘sponcon’ (social media content that looks like a typical post but for which the influencer has been paid to advertise) and ‘terraform’ (to transform a planet or moon so it is suitable for supporting human life).

Two personal favourites from this author include ‘MacGyver’ (to make, form or repair something with what is conveniently on hand) and ‘Galentine’s Day’ (a day to celebrate friendships, especially among women; observed on 13th February).

Oddball entries that might prove useful when interacting with the younger crowd include ‘janky’ (of very poor quality), ‘pwn’ (to dominate and defeat), ‘adorkable’ (socially awkward or quirky in a way that is endearing), ‘baller’ (excellent, exciting or extraordinary, especially in a way suggestive of a lavish lifestyle) and ‘cringe’ (embarrassing, awkward).

Oh, and ‘yeet’ (to throw, especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown). In typical English fashion, this new word has a second meaning too (an interjection used to express surprise, approval or excited enthusiasm).

There you go; you learn something new every day. Yeet! (Definition #2)

Sources:

 

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