Merriam-Webster has served up a heaping batch of new words that will be added to the dictionary for October 2021, among them, “Oobleck,” “air fryer,” “whataboutism,” “FTW” and “fourth trimester.”
The trusted online dictionary for definitions, meanings and pronunciation is adding a whopping 455 words, including many that take into consideration the ongoing pandemic, political turmoil and technological developments – all of which should make word game players and spelling bee enthusiasts everywhere very happy.
This month’s additions were grouped under several categories: online culture and communication, coronavirus, tech and science, politics, food, the world of medicine, pop culture and other notable terms.
Slang got a big legitimacy boost this year, with “amirite” (slang for “Am I right?”) and “TBH” (the abbreviation for “to be honest”) joining the dictionary’s ranks. In a year when figures like Donald Trump were banned from social media sites, “deplatform” finally earned induction.
The dictionary also brushed up on its current events, with “long COVID” (the persistence of COVID symptoms months after a person’s initial recovery from the virus) and “vaccine passport” making the cut.
Readers may be surprised to learn that a number of new additions were not previously part of the dictionary: see “horchata,” the sweet Mexican rice drink and “fluffernutter,” the peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwich. The “air fryer” was originally invented in 2010 but gained mass popularization during the pandemic, securing its spot in the dictionary.
And while words like “faux-hawk” and “doorbell camera” might not be the easiest way to score in Scrabble or Boggle, there are plenty more to choose from. Best to bring yourself up to speed before you pull out the board games.