About Time... Merriam-Webster adds "Brand-New" Words in 2019

Brand new? I don't think so... I'm surprised the following terms were just added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary!

According to Molly Pennington, Merriam-Webster added over 600 new words to the dictionary in 2019, and as is always the case with language, there are old words with new meanings on their list too, check out the full list here.

Snowflake - On a molecular level, snowflakes are all basically the same, even though you may think they’re each unique and special. Snowflake also has a few definitions beyond, “a flake or crystal of snow.” The term has become disparaging slang for both someone treated as precious and special or one who thinks they should be treated as such. Yes, snowflake is a grand insult. If you are called this term, the user thinks you’re too sensitive or that you find yourself precious. It works the other way around, too—get a look at these 11 words and phrases that used to be insults but are now compliments.

Page view - Gotta get those clicks! A page view is a compound term of the Internet age. Page view is an example of “lexicalization,” because it’s a phrase that now expresses a concept: “an instance of a user viewing an individual page or website.” Page views are crucial because they insinuate engagement with info that’s on a web page or site.

Gig economy - The gig economy means that work comes from freelance, part-time, or contract jobs or gigs. While a gig economy offers lots of flexibility for workers, it does not provide the stability and assured growth that secure, full-time positions used to do. Coined in 2019, Merriam-Webster offers that the gig economy uses temps or freelancers, “primarily in the service sector.” However, over 70 percent of academic teaching positions are now part-time, temporary, or adjunct, and the gig economy affects many other sectors as well.

Swole - Do you work out? If so, you probably look swole. The term basically derives from swelling or swollen, but it’s a positive adjective used to describe top-notch or particularly aesthetic musculature. As in, Robert Pattinson as the new Batman is looking swole.

EGOT - Very few people have achieved peak EGOT—the ultimate threshold for performance accomplishment. Only 15 performers have reached it so far, and that list includes Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Whoopi Goldberg, and Mel Brooks. However, there are 40 performers on deck to become EGOT with just one more win. The term is an acronym using the first letters of the awards Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Once you win one of each, you’ve got an EGOT.

Stan - Stans have been around as long as celebrities, but this term for an obsessive and over-the-top groupie just made it into the dictionary. Way back in 2000, Eminem (of rap fame) had a song about an extremely devoted fan, “Stan.” And the term was born. Merriam-Webster notes that it’s often used in a “disparaging” way, but that’s usually in the form of self-awareness about a star or franchise’s epic greatness and the known insanity (instanity?!) of adoring it. Consider the way Game of Thrones stans still obsess over various dragon minutiae even though the series has ended.

And so on... these words have been in NetLingo for years! C'mon Merriam-Webster, time to subscribe to my NetLingo blog :)

- Erin Jansen, Internet Specialist, Social Psychologist, Founder of NetLingo.com