FTW, TBH and 453 other words are now recognised in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as official words with clear definitions.
Because dictionaries can never get too many words, new ones get added in from time to time, to match the ever-changing ways that we humans communicate with each other.
Dictionary editors are constantly on the lookout for new words that are commonly being spoken by groups of people. Given that at some point everybody has been confused by a word that’s new to them, it’s a pretty important job.
You can expect tonnes of millennial and zoomer-speak to be a part of these new dictionary-recognised words, with most words having some sort of tie to the internet and how interconnected we’ve become to each other through it.
Merriam-Webster is also no stranger to new and exciting words from the online world, given it happily put the definition of NFT on sale six months ago.
Unfortunately to my own dismay, ‘Poggers’ is not recognised by Merriam-Webster just yet, but I’m sure there has been a mistake. Surely. I hope.
Regardless, we’ve sifted through and found some of the highlights of Merriam-Webster’s new words, so you can pop out a fun new phrase at some point.
10 new words in the Merriam-Webster dictionary
- Airfryer: An airtight, usually small electrical appliance for quick cooking of foods by means of convection currents circulated rapidly by a fan.
- Amirite: slang used in writing for ‘am I right?’ to represent or imitate the use of this phrase as a tag question in informal speech. An example: “English spelling is consistently inconsistent, amirite?”
- Copypasta: Data (such as a block of text) that has been copied and spread widely online. Copypasta can be a lighthearted meme or it can have a more serious intent, with a political or cultural message.
- Deplatform: To remove and ban (a registered user) from a mass communication medium (such as a social networking or blogging website) broadly: to prevent from having or providing a platform to communicate.
- Dad bod: a physique regarded as typical of an average father; especially: one that is slightly overweight and not extremely muscular.
- FTW: an abbreviation for ‘for the win’ – used especially to express approval or support. In social media, FTW is often used to acknowledge a clever or funny response to a question or meme.
- Long COVID: A condition that is marked by the presence of symptoms (such as fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, headache or brain fog) which persist for an extended period of time (such as weeks or months) following a person’s initial recovery from COVID-19 infection.
- Otaku: a person having an intense or obsessive interest especially in the fields of anime and manga – often used before another noun.
- TBH: An abbreviation for ‘to be honest’. TBH is frequently used in social media and text messaging.
- Whataboutism: The act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offence committed by another is similar or worse also: the response itself. The synonymous term whataboutery is more common in British English.
Many of the above words and phrases you could probably say to somebody who isn’t chronically online and get a confused “What the hell are you talking about?” said back at you, but they all certainly have their place, especially online.
Now you can accurately put a definition to a word – at least for the 455 newly recognised ones.