The world has changed a lot over the past year – and, of course, so have our vocabulary.
Dictionary.com has added over 300 new words and definitions to its Last update to include new terminology and slang.
“It’s a complicated and difficult society we live in, and language changes are helping us tackle it,” John Kelly, editor of Dictionary.com, said in a statement. Press release.
Coronavirus pandemic (the word of the year 2020) may slowly drift away from its position at the forefront and center of most conversations, but its impacts are lasting.
And the protests last summer over the George Floyd murder spurred several diversity initiatives across industries, inspiring new acronyms.
âSome major products have been renamed as a result of criticism and reviews of the racist stereotypes evoked by their original names,â Kelly said. âTwo such changes are now reflected in our dictionary: Edy’s pie (formerly Eskimo Pie) and Aunt Jemima (now called Pearl Milling Company). “
“This crucial, albeit subtle, terminological innovation encourages people to see membership in minority groups not as something intrinsic or unchanging, but as a social construct – as a reality created and maintained by a group and experienced by another, âhe explained.
Definitions of “Black codes” and “Jim crow“have been updated to reflect the past year, just like”one drop rule“- a social classification, codified by law in some states during the 20th century, which identifies biracial or multiracial individuals as black if they have known black African ancestry, even from a black ancestor of several generations.
“Dictionary.com has also expanded its definition to ‘cultural appropriation‘to accommodate the widespread adoption of cultural elements from very small groups, including minority groups as well as subcultures within dominant groups. “
As racial and ethnic groups have been the target of violence this year, the definition of “terrorism“was also expanded to include” intimidation or coercion by instilling fear. “
“These are difficult topics – and for many, traumatic. Increasingly, various forms of media are alerting users to disturbing or offensive content with a ‘content warning, ‘ Where CW to shorten it. These two terms, as well as a new entry for the abbreviation TW for the ‘trip warning, ‘ are now on Dictionary.com. “
As much of the world shifted to remote working, the technological vocabulary broadened to encompass the changes.
Schools have become creative and so have entrepreneurs. “Ghost kitchen“(a commercial establishment that prepares and cooks restaurant-style foods for delivery directly to customers or to one or more restaurant-dining establishments),”lateral restlessness“(a job or profession that earns money in addition to his regular job and main source of income) and”disjointed“(having or showing wit and determination, especially despite obstacles) have all won new entries.
The social media phenomenon of “deplatform“is now defined as the prohibition (to one or more people) from sharing his point of view in a public forum, in particular by prohibiting a user from posting on a website or a social network application.
And what’s a dictionary update without a few slang entries?
“Phew, “”Again, “”shit“(Public’s Choice Word of the Year 2020),”a cap” and “zaddy” (not to be confused with “silver fox“) have all been added to the list.”You all“has even earned its own definition – instead of just being a variation of you all, marking the words “distinct importance in the lexicon” and “spread of Southern American English dialects into the main vernacular. “
Perhaps these lighter slang and pop culture newcomers in our dictionary reflect another important aspect of our time – cautious optimism and a more optimistic mood about the future after a trying 2020. said Kelly.