In the age of metaverse, plant-based diets, and virtue signaling in social media, Merriam-Webster felt it's high time to level up its dictionary and serve lewks with new words and phrases this 2022.
In a blog post, Merriam-Webster said that when many people use a word in the same way "over a long enough period of time," that word becomes eligible for inclusion. Yeet or cringe?
Editor at large Peter Sokolowski—whether it's sus or not—also noted that words offer a window into our ever-changing language and culture.
"Our job is to capture the language as it is used," Sokolowski said. "Some of these words will amuse or inspire, others may provoke debate."
FWIW (or for what it's worth which Merriam-Webster also added), the company featured in its blog post some of the most notable entries, including social media slang and pop culture references. It also shared entries about COVID-19, business, and food.
Here are some of them:
- Birria (noun): a Mexican dish of stewed meat seasoned especially with chili peppers
- Cringe (adjective): so embarrassing, awkward, etc. as to cause one to cringe
- Galentine's Day (noun): a holiday observed on February 13th as a time to celebrate friendships especially among women
- Janky (adjective): of very poor quality; not functioning properly or adequately
- Lewk (noun): a fashion look that is distinctive to the wearer and that is noticeable and memorable to others
- Level up (verb): to advance or improve (oneself, someone else, or something) in or as if in a game
- Omakase (noun): a series of small servings or courses (as of sushi) offered at a fixed price and whose selection is left to the chef's discretion; (adverb, adjective) “according to the chef's choice”
- Metaverse (noun): a persistent virtual environment that allows access to and interoperability of multiple individual virtual realities.
- Pwn (verb): to dominate and defeat (someone or something)
- Shrinkflation (noun): the practice of reducing a product's amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price
- Sus (adjective): suspicious, suspect
- Virtue signaling (noun): the act or practice of conspicuously displaying one's awareness of and attentiveness to political issues, matters of social and racial justice, etc., especially instead of taking effective action
- Yeet (interjection): used to express surprise, approval, or excited enthusiasm; (verb) to throw especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown
ICYMI—or in case you missed it, yet another new entry—Merriam Webster last added 455 new words in October 2021. The list included TBH (to be honest), otaku, and dad bod.