‘F-Bomb,’ ‘Sexting’ and ‘Mash-Up’ Added to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

The latest edition of Mirriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary has some new and familiar words.

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Jeffrey Coolidge

Sifting through the list of words that Merriam-Webster is adding to its collegiate dictionary is like flipping through a scrapbook of recent popular culture: Look, there’s one of Stephen King’s earworms! And remember when Glee mainstreamed mash-ups (and sexting)?

Yuppies will likely be pleased that gastropubs, craft beer, life coaches and e-readers all made the cut, as does Ophrah’s ‘A-ha!’ moment.

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There are sobering additions, too — reminders that the past couple years weren’t all about artisanal beverages and pocket technology. “Systemic risk” refers to the likelihood that one bank’s failure could cause others to fail. And the adjective “underwater” now has a new definition — one that describes a mortgage loan that costs more than the property is worth. And the latest definition of “toxic” has to do with assets that have lost so much value they cannot be sold.

The most talked-about new addition, however, is “F-bomb.” As in: “Did Joe Biden just drop the F-bomb in front of both houses of Congress?” The term’s inclusion shouldn’t be too surprising, though. After all, the actual f-word was adopted ages ago.

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