Merriam-Webster (a subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.) has just released the list of the some 100 new words added to its Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
“Our language evolves in many ways,” says John Morse, president and publisher of Merriam-Webster. “As we’ve seen from our Open Dictionary feature on Merriam-Webster.com, people enjoy blending existing words, like combining ‘stay’ and ‘vacation’ to make staycation. Staycation is a good example of a word meeting a need and establishing itself in the language very quickly. Our earliest record of use is from 2005, but it seems to have exploded into popular use in 2007.”
Many of the new additions reflect the importance of the environment (carbon footprint, green-collar), government activities (earmark, waterboarding), health and medicine (cardioprotective, locavore, naproxen, neuroprotective), pop culture (docusoap, fan fiction, flash mob, reggaeton), and online activities (sock puppet, vlog, webisode).
Listed below is a sampling of these new words, all linked to their Merriam-Webster definitions:
2. carbon footprint
5. fan fiction
6. flash mob
12. memory foam
20. sock puppet
25. zip line