More than 300 words and definitions newly appeared on Dictionary.com this week, several of which were draw from the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, and meme culture, among many other timely topics.
According to the announcement, the digital dictionary also introduced new terms to coincide with society’s evolving outlook towards varying racial identities, including “cultural appropriation,” which is defined as “the adoption, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers from subcultures or minority communities into mainstream culture by people with a relatively privileged status. “One-drop rule” and “DEI,” or diversity, equity, and inclusion were also included, among others.
“It’s a complicated and challenging society we live in, and language changes to help us grapple with it,” Dictionary.com’s managing editor John Kelly said during an interview with CNN.
In response to the pandemic, Dictionary.com added terms including “long COVID,” which it defines as “a condition characterized by symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an acute phase of Covid-19 infection.” The word “long hauler” was also added, referring to “a person who experiences symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an associated acute illness or active infection.”
On the lighter end of the spectrum, “snack” has officially been defined as slang, meaning “a sexy and physically attractive person; hottie,” along with “yeet,” meaning “an exclamation of enthusiasm, approval, triumph, pleasure, joy, etc,” and “zaddy,” which refers to “an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident.”
“We can thank Black social media for the fun — and multifunctional — smash slang hit of yeet, variously used as a joyful interjection or verb for forms of quick, forceful motions,” Dictionary.com editors said of the updates.”We can thank artist Ty Dolla $ign for popularizing the zesty zaddy, an alteration of daddy that means ‘an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident.'”
In addition to the new terms, Dictionary.com has also added two new learning services to its platform: Grammar Coach and Dictionary Academy. The former is an artificially intelligent writing tool that helps writers avoid making errors by correcting grammar and offering alternate word options, while the latter is a tutoring application with flashcards and quizzes based on custom-made word lists.