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Merriam-Webster adds 150 new words

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Adds 150 New Words

The latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has one region celebrating.

For more than a decade, a prosecutor in Michigan has been fighting to add the word "Yooper" to the dictionary.

It refers to a native or longtime resident of the Lake Superior region and people there say it's becoming more recognizable outside their area. Plus it's quote, "... just a really colorful word."

Now "Yooper" and 149 other words and phrases have made it into the 11th version of the dictionary. A few more that fall under the category of "colorful" are:

"Turducken" -- a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.

And then there's "freegan" -- someone who scavenges for free food in trash bins as a way to reduce consumption of resources.

The Associated Press explains Merriam-Webster uses a network of observers who track word usage in everything from newspapers to soup can labels but three or four senior editors make the final cut.

Other words stem from social media and digital life.

Here are the top 15 from AP:

Auto-Tune or auto-tune vt (verb transitive) (2003): a proprietary signal processor, to adjust or alter (a recording of a voice) with Auto-Tune software or other audio-editing software, especially to correct sung notes that are out of tune

cap-and-trade adj (1995): relating to or being a system that caps the amount of carbon emissions a given company may produce but allows it to buy rights to produce additional emissions from a company that does not use the equivalent amount of its own allowance

catfish n (1612): (second definition) a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes

crowdfunding n (2006): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people, especially from the online community

dubstep n (2002): a type of electronic dance music having prominent bass lines and syncopated drum patterns

fangirl n (1934): a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something

freegan n (2006): an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources

gamification n (2010): the process of adding games or gameline elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation

hashtag n (2008): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text, such as a tweet

selfie n (2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera, especially for posting on social networks

social networking n (1998): the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships, especially online

steampunk n (1987) science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology

turducken n (1982): a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey

tweep n (2008): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets

Yooper n (1977): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan - used as a nickname

Join the discussion

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Welcome Justin May 19 2014 at 11:56 AM

I fully understand why new words are added, but this seems like they are simply adding words because many people are too ignorant to use proper ones. The language should not change simply because people are too lazy to learn it.

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1 reply
srlaperla Welcome Justin May 19 2014 at 1:40 PM

Abso-effing-lutely. I didn't make up this word, but it sure is descriptive. However, adding it should be against the rules!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Mike May 19 2014 at 1:15 PM

Why the new word "yooper"? What was wrong with the old word, "loser"?

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4 replies
srlaperla May 19 2014 at 1:36 PM

This is a disgrace. Words that are "slang" are now considered functional language. Bowing to public pressure (as in the acceptance of many other unusual or uncustomary practices) is as wrong as it could be. I'm almost embarassed to be speaking English, with the travesty of a language that it has become.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
4 replies
IM BACK May 19 2014 at 2:12 PM

This is getting way out of hand. They just keep adding stupid stuff.

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2 replies
Iselin007 IM BACK May 19 2014 at 3:02 PM

English speaking people came here long ago. Some settlers could read and write while other's could not. Many people had different forms of English which they spoke in their communities. Today people from different areas of the USA have different slang versions or cultural versions of the same language. I doubt M. Webster is going to cover every version ever used proper or slang.

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lawrie IM BACK May 19 2014 at 3:41 PM

and people are caring less and less about speaking properly...too soon they won't be able to speak at all, just text some stupid remarks...chill, folks and find some peace and relate face to face!

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jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 11:35 AM

I surely do hope that "conversate" is not one of the new words. That is the most annoying word I have ever heard. The word "converse" does the job quite nicely.

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2 replies
patt64 jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 12:06 PM

.....jvt....I'm trying to think of a good punishment for using "conversate"....thankfully, until this moment, it has been unknown to me...thank goodness!!!!

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1 reply
jvt1984 patt64 May 19 2014 at 12:43 PM

Appreciate the support. I hear "educated" and "uneducated" people use it all the time. I suppose people use it simply because that is all they have ever heard.

Flag +2 rate up
Everett jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 2:37 PM

Conversely, I agree that it's annoying and I hope that not one of the new words is "conversate".

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laura May 19 2014 at 3:23 PM

Baby mama is the worst, come on, every baby has a mama. This is a term for a woman your not married to as the mother of their child, so the name for the man who got her pregnant should be numb-nuts.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
Tricilla May 19 2014 at 1:38 PM

I hate "baby bump". Sounds like something that needs to be lanced. :(

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mclark2960 May 19 2014 at 12:19 PM

freegan? thought bum was the official name

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1 reply
srlaperla mclark2960 May 19 2014 at 1:39 PM

No, we needed a new "politically correct" name to describe it now... Just like RETARDED used to be retarded. Now its mentally handicapped. Crippled is now "differently abled". BS, all of it.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ddiribbons May 19 2014 at 11:54 AM

I'm sure Webster included all the politically correct words to the satisfaction of all the libtards.

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2 replies
patt64 ddiribbons May 19 2014 at 12:02 PM

siiiiiigh...if you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail....perfect example..........

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Ono ddiribbons May 19 2014 at 1:55 PM

Closer and more effective moderation would eliminate much of this type of post.
AOL has neither the courage or ....

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jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 4:11 PM

I am 74 and our Dad would not even hear of our saying the word "cooties" whether it was in the dictionary or not. He would have punished us appropriately. I just looked in my "proper" and reliable dictionary and it is not there, so I can suppose it is a slang word, although I know many people use it. I found it on line and now I know why he would not tolerate it. Thank you Daddy for good parenting and good English. We also live quite well without all the base curse words that are so common today and part of some people's everyday vocabulary. Don't know whether they are in the dictionary or not and I am not going to look.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
tsr5112 jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 4:16 PM

I'm 58 and I think it's great. We can call the kids anything we want and they won't know they're being chastised!

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1 reply
phardynetmail tsr5112 May 19 2014 at 5:19 PM

If they don't "know they're being chastised," what have you accomplished?

Flag +1 rate up
drysuitsdirect jvt1984 May 19 2014 at 5:23 PM

Your dad sounds like a great and honorable man!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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