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New Words in the Dictionary

Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

You probably have heard it on the news or read it on-line, that the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary is adding its annual updated words.  Since the English language is referred to as a “living language” where new words are constantly being made and replaced.  In order to keep the dictionary up to date with all the newest words, Merriam-Webster adds 100 of the most used words to its edition annually.

This year there is quite a controversy on the words chosen for the 2012 update to the dictionary. The hullabaloo surrounds the word F-bomb because of it reference to the four letter F-word.  However, Kory Stamper, the associate editor for Merriam-Webster, lobbied for the word based on its usage and history in the daily language.

Other words that have made the 2012 up-date are:

  • Aha-moment made famous by Oprah

  • E-reader

  • Man cave – thank you HGTV

  • Bucket list

  • Energy drink

  • Earworm- meaning a song that gets stuck in your head.

  • Craft beer

  • Tipping point

  • Game changer

  • Flexitarian –A person who is a vegetarian but sometimes eats meat or fish.

  • Gassed – meaning tired or exhausted

It is amazing that so many words that start out as slang terms end up in the dictionary.   Do you remember when byte, hard drive, and the Internet were just computer geek words?  They, too, eventually made it into the dictionary.  It will be interesting to see what words will show up in the 2013 dictionary up-date.


ITALIE, L. (2012, 8 13). F-bomb, Sexting Among New Words In Merriam-Webster Dictionary . Retrieved from, Inc. :

Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. (2012). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary:

New 2012 Words Added to Dictionary. (2012). Retrieved from Squidoo, LLC :



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