The best of the 300 new words added to Dictionary.com.
Millennial-speak has invaded the dictionary.
On Thursday, Dictionary.com added 300 new words to its list of more than 19 billion words, including millennial-inspired words like friendiversary and mic drop. To determine how new words get added, the company’s lexicographers review academic journals, pop-culture sources, and user suggestions to see what people are using and searching for.
“Pop culture and politics have become increasingly intertwined, from late night hosts playing political pundits to the newly elected ‘Commander in Tweet,” the company writes. “The same trend emerges in new words added to the dictionary, specifically with the rise of the alt-right, a political movement with extreme ideologies, and clicktivism, the use of the Internet to organize and promote political or social causes and movements.”
Amid the legalization of marijuana in several states, so-called pot culture has also helped drive new words, including 420 and kush, which are both slang for the drug.
Here are 22 of the most interesting new words, and their definitions, that Dictionary.com added to its list this year:
- 420: slang; marijuana.
- alt-right: a political movement originating on social media and online forums, composed of a segment of conservatives who support extreme right-wing ideologies, including white nationalism and anti-Semitism.
- bitchface: slang; a facial expression that does not consciously express a particular emotion but that others perceive as scowling, threatening, etc.
- cat café: a business establishment that has numerous cats available for customers to play with, and usually offers food and drinks.
- cheat day: a day in which a person goes off a dietary regimen.
- clicktivism: the use of the Internet to organize and promote political or social causes and movements, as through postings on social media, email campaigns, and online petitions.
- cold brew: the process of steeping coffee grounds or tea leaves in room-temperature or cold water for many hours, producing a concentrate to which more water may be added.
- dabbing: the act of performing a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions.
- dad bod: informal; a man’s physique that is slightly overweight or flabby but still attractive.
- friendiversary: the yearly recurrence of the date that two or more people first became friends.
- hangry: slang; feeling irritable or irrationally angry as a result of being hungry.
- Kush: slang; marijuana, formerly specific to a strain of cannabis that originated from the Hindu Kush region.
- lightsaber: a type of sword, as depicted in the fictional Star Wars universe, with a blade made of laser energy that can both cut and burn.
- man bun: a man’s hair gathered into a bun at the back or top of the head.
- mic drop: the act of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a speech or performance, displaying a bold confidence that it has been very impressive or cannot be topped.
- petrichor: a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.
- slay: slang; to strongly impress or overwhelm someone.
- smackdown: a severe rebuke or criticism.
- struggle bus: slang; a situation, task, etc., that seems difficult or frustrating.
- teachable moment: a specific occurrence, situation, or experience that can be used to teach people about something more general.
- throw shade: slang; to insult, criticize, or disrespect a person or thing in an indirect, artful manner.
- uncanny valley: a psychological concept that describes the feelings of unease or revulsion that people tend to have toward artificial representations of human beings, as robots or computer animations, that closely imitate many but not all the features and behaviors of actual human beings.
© 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved