The Merriam-Webster dictionary added 455 new words to its collection in October 2021. These included words that emerged from online communication, which has only increased amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Also added were new words pertaining to food, politics, science, and the coronavirus.
Some of the notable words include “vaccine passport,” “super-spreader,” and slang like “amirite,” “TBH,” and “FTW.” Merriam-Webster published a list of some of the notable words used in online communication:
We’ve been communicating online for decades now, and pandemic-related circumstances have only increased the practice. The quick and informal nature of messaging, texting, and tweeting has contributed to a vocabulary newly rich in efficient and abbreviated expression.
- TBH : an abbreviation for "to be honest." TBH is frequently used in social media and text messaging.
- because : by reason of : because of — often used in a humorous way to convey vagueness about the exact reasons for something. This preposition use of because is versatile; it can be used, for example, to avoid delving into the overly technical (“the process works because science”) or to dismiss explanation altogether (“they left because reasons”).
- amirite : slang used in writing for "am I right" to represent or imitate the use of this phrase as a tag question in informal speech. An example: “English spelling is consistently inconsistent, amirite?”
- FTW : an abbreviation for "for the win" —used especially to express approval or support. In social media, FTW is often used to acknowledge a clever or funny response to a question or meme.
- deplatform : to remove and ban (a registered user) from a mass communication medium (such as a social networking or blogging website) broadly : to prevent from having or providing a platform to communicate.
- digital nomad : someone who performs their occupation entirely over the Internet while traveling; especially : such a person who has no permanent fixed home address.
The editors even included a word like “fluffernutter,” which means, “a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow crème between two slices of white sandwich bread.”
Meanwhile, “dad bod” is also getting the dictionary treatment. It means, “a physique regarded as typical of an average father; especially : one that is slightly overweight and not extremely muscular.”
You can read more about the range of newly added words here.
"Definition of DAD BOD." Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dad+bod. Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.
"Definition of FLUFFERNUTTER." Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fluffernutter. Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.
Federico-O’Murchú, Seán. “Merriam-Webster Adds 455 New Words to the Dictionary, Including ‘fluffernutter’ and ‘Dad Bod.’” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/28/us/merriam-webster-new-words/index.html. Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.
"We Added New Words to the Dictionary for October 2021." Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/new-words-in-the-dictionary. Accessed 29 Oct. 2021.