Over 150 new words and definitions are being added to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary this year. The new edition is available now in print and online at Merriam-Webster.com. These latest additions to America’s best-selling dictionary reflect the growing influence that technology is having on our culture.
Crowdfunding, big data, and gamification illustrate how technology is being used to understand and motivate behavior. A more playful combination of the interaction of technology and human behavior is exemplified in steampunk (“science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology”).
With technology invading our more intimate relationships all of the time, the word catfish, referring to a person who sets up a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes has been added, as well.
“So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods,” explains Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large for Merriam-Webster. “Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways.”
New culinary terms have also been added. They include pho (“a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles”), turducken (“a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey”), and the Canadian favorite poutine (“a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds”).
Other notable additions include freegan, fracking, and Yooper, a nickname used for a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.