The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

The GetUp Crew

It’s that time again, when more words are added to the dictionary. Merriam-Webster just updated their list, adding 370 new words and phrases. The beautiful thing about language is how it expands and evolves. As the world changes and new inventions and technology emerge, new words and phrases become eligible to be added. If 370 words seems like a lot, it’s nothing on last year’s 455 words that were added. Some of the words added last year include: coworking, hard pass, cancel culture, and hygge. A lot of the new words and phrases come from social media slang, or different pop culture references. There are also words relating to the COVID-19 pandemic as well. So how do new words end up in the dictionary? Let’s take a look.

How new words get added

There are several steps that Merriam Webster uses to determine what gets in. First, it has to be used by many people who all agree that it means the same thing. So just because you come up with a word that you and your friends use, doesn’t mean that it’s getting in. Think “fetch” in Mean Girls. “Stop trying to make fetch happen!” But I digress. Next comes the work of dictionary editors who read A LOT. They look at lots of different publications with a wide national readership. They look for words and phrases that have gone mainstream, and words that start as specialized vocabulary but become common over time.

What’s next?

Glad you asked. Next, each word becomes a citation and gets put in a searchable database. It includes both new words, and old words that are used in new ways. They have 17 million citations! They’re looking for three criteria: frequent use, widespread use, and meaningful use. That’s why when you see an added word like “yeet,” which was popular years ago is just getting in. It has to prove itself. Personally, I’m not sure that it has, but that’s just me.

The final decision

That decision gets reviewed and decided on by more senior editors. But there’s no committee, no meetings, or public input. And if a word doesn’t make it, there’s always next year. It gets reviewed for the next edition.

Here are some of the new words added this year. All words and definitions provided by Merriam Webster.

  • Dumbphone

    A cell phone that does not include advanced software features (such as email or an internet browser) typically found on smartphones.

  • Video Doorbell

    A small security camera that is designed for use on an exterior door, that includes or connects to a doorbell, and that often has a microphone and speaker.

  • Metaverse

    1 computing : a persistent virtual (see VIRTUAL sense 2) environment that allows access to and interoperability of multiple individual virtual realities also : any of the individual virtual environments that make up a metaverse 2 cosmology : the hypothetical combination of all co-existing or sequentially existing universes.

  • Yeet

    interjection, slang — used to express surprise, approval, or excited enthusiasm yeet verb : to throw especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown.

  • Janky

    informal : of very poor quality. 

  • Lewk

    slang : a fashion look that is distinctive to the wearer and that is noticeable and memorable to others.

  • Sus

    slang : Suspicious, suspect.

  • Adorkable

    informal : socially awkward or quirky in a way that is endearing.

  • Baller

     informal : excellent, exciting, or extraordinary especially in a way that is suggestive of a lavish lifestyle.

  • Cringe

    slang : so embarrassing, awkward, etc. as to cause one to cringe.

  • FWIW

    abbreviation for what it’s worth.


    abbreviation in case you missed it.

  • Side hustle

    Work performed for income supplementary to one’s primary job.

  • Galentine's Day

    A holiday observed on February 13th as a time to celebrate friendships especially among women.

  • Level up

    To advance or improve (oneself, someone else, or something) in or as if in a game.

  • Pumpkin spice

    A mixture of usually cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and often allspice that is commonly used in pumpkin pie.

  • Ras el hanout

    A mixture of ground spices that is used in northern African cooking and includes coriander, ginger, turmeric, peppercorns, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and other spices.

  • Birria

    A Mexican dish of stewed meat seasoned especially with chili peppers.

  • Oat Milk

    A liquid made from ground oats and water that is usually fortified (as with calcium and vitamins) and used as a milk substitute.

Sign me up for the HOT 96.9 email newsletter!

Stay connected with the hottest celebrity and music news, plus exclusive prizes, trips, and more!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.