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An increasingly informal lexicon reflected in Dictionary.com’s newest word list

By Curtis Honeycutt

I can still remember buying my copy of Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language back in high school. It was raining that day, and I scurried into the local bookstore during lunch. This glorious red rectangle caught my eye with its shimmery gold-embossed letters. I had to have it. This thing was beefy. It contained 1,693 pages. It had the last word (literally) when it came to Scrabble disputes.

Recently, Dictionary.com added over 300 new words to its online dictionary. As I’ve previously stated, dictionaries merely report the news; that is, they reflect popular word usage whether we prefer the words or not. With that being said, here are some of the new words.

Screen time: the thing we try to implement limits on for our kids but have no self-control over for ourselves.

Infodump: when you provide a reader with a large amount of information all at once. This article could qualify as an infodump.

Dad joke: the kind of one-liners (often pun-filled) dads tell their kids that make kids groan. I’m proud to divulge that I’ve achieved a level 57 dad joke black belt in my local daddy dojo.

Womp womp: a response to a particularly depressing fact or bad “fail” (often a dad joke) by a mocking onlooker.

Impostor syndrome: when you severely overdo it with self-doubt, leaving you with a feeling that you don’t deserve a certain job, status, or level of success. By the way, that little voice that feeds you those thoughts is a liar. Tell it to kindly shut up.

Rage quit: a term often used in video games by someone who is losing. My dad used to do this with me when we played RBI Baseball on our Nintendo. I would hit a home run and he’d turn the power off before my runner reached home plate.

Death cleaning: the process of cleaning and decluttering your house so that you spare your loved ones from doing it after you die. I’ll be honest: after I learned about this term, I uttered an extra-sad “womp womp” out into the universe.

Welp: an informal way of saying “well” to indicate a situation is hopeless or that you don’t know what to do next.

Welp, I might as well wrap this one up. Let me know what you think of Dictionary.com’s new words.

— Curtis Honeycutt is a nationally award-winning syndicated humor writer. Connect with him on Twitter (@curtishoneycutt) or at curtishoneycutt.com.

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