Pop quiz: Do you know what the word “fleek” means? What about “sapiosexual”?
These are among the 150 new words and definitions that Dictionary.com will add on Tuesday. The list ranges from words inspired by texting (kk, which means OK) to those inspired by slang (yaaas).
Each year, thousands of new words and definitions are typically added to the world’s dictionaries. For its part, Oxford Dictionaries adds about 1,000 new entries each year. This year, it added awesomesauce (an adjective describing something excellent), cakeage (charge from a restaurant for serving cake), manspreading (when a man sits with his legs wide apart so that it encroaches on another’s space) and Redditor (someone who uses the forums on Reddit).
Merriam-Webster added 1,700 new entries this year, including photobomb (to move into a photo as it’s being taken as a prank/joke), emoji (various small images, symbols or icons used in electronic communications like texting) and clickbait (something, oftentimes a headline, which is designed to make readers click).
Often, new words are inspired by technology, says Jane Solomon, lexicographer at Dictionary.com — they’re words or concepts (like fitness tracker or digital native) that may have been around for a while but have become more a part of common language recently.
Solomon adds that pop culture and social media play a big role in popularizing words to the point they get added to dictionaries. “There’s a huge spread of words in this way,” she says.
Here are 10 of the strangest and most interesting new words Dictionary.com will add this year.
This slang word means on point, flawlessly styled or well-groomed. The word was popularized in mid-2014 by a six-second Vine video from a woman named Peaches Monroee who said her eyebrows were “on fleek” and has since appeared in a number of songs, blogs and other media.
This is a title of respect that you would put before a person’s name (as you would Mr. or Ms.) and may be used by a person with any or no specific gender identity. This word likely became popular thanks to the increased media attention to the transgender community (through shows like TransGender and people like Caitlyn Jenner and others), says Solomon.
A sapiosexual is a person who finds intelligence a sexually attractive quality in others.
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