Word Up

A look at some ridiculous words coming to 2014 Merriam-Webster dictionary

A look at ridiculous words coming to 2014 Merriam-Webster dictionary

If you fancy yourself a freegan fangirl who's into taking selfies and sending them to your tweeps, than you should be especially stoked for the 150 new words Merriam-Webster is adding to its 2014 collegiate dictionary. Merriam-Webster seems to have its finger on the proverbial pulse, with the inclusion of such buzzy words as spoiler alert, steampunk and baby bump.

As has been the pattern in recent years, Merriam-Webster also is adding some technological jargon, including hashtag, digital divide, unfriend, crowdfunding, social networking, gamification and big data. "These new additions to America's best-selling dictionary reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking, once done mostly in person," the company said in a press release.

Foodies will be happy to see additions such as turducken, the magical triple-fowl dish increasingly showing up on Thanksgiving tables, as well as pho and poutine. Michigan natives can also break out the celebratory bubbly, because yooper (to save you a Google, it's a resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula) also made the cut.

But perhaps the weirdest addition to the tome is catfish. Inspired by the documentary film and television spin-off by the same name, catfish is "a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes."

The documentary's filmmakers reacted to the cultural milestone saying, "Never in a thousand years could we have imagined what a phenomenon Catfish would become. Seeing this new definition in Merriam-Webster's dictionary is not only an honor for us, it is a reflection of how our experience in the film has now become a universal one, shared by people all over the world."

We can't imagine it either.

Merriam-Webster is adding 150 new words to the dictionary. Photo by Christopher Woods