Word Up

The new phonebooks dictionaries are here! Well, the words are new anyway — a bunch of fresh jargon that the dictionary gods have deemed to be officially part of our language, even if folks have been saying them for quite a while. From the Star Ledger:

The new linguistic list is out, and the country’s most popular dictionaries have added scores of newcomers to the American lexicon in a yearly exercise that says as much about the year that passed as the words we heard.

The list covers the gamut from technology (cybrarian) to culture (reggaeton). A few were already widely familiar (chick flick, brain freeze), but it was their staying power that finally won them membership in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate.

"Neoconservative" has been in the book for a while, but it won a new definition with the geopolitical times. Terrorism left its mark in the Oxford American Dictionary with the addition of "I.E.D.," for improvised explosive device.

And with the popular dictionaries including names, Lance Armstrong will be in American Heritage College Dictionary’s next edition as well. But socialite and hotel heiress Paris Hilton won’t be in bold type just yet, even if she was among the year’s most searched names on the Internet.

What words from your lexicon would you like to see mainstreamed…

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15 COMMENTS

  1. nolte – (‘nol-tE) – adjective describing the feeling of being hungover, disheveled, and needing a cigarette badly
    “The party last night was lots of fun, but I woke up all nolte this morning.”

  2. Butsch \BUCH (‘u’ as in ‘push’)\, noun:
    A secretly planned and bumptious attempt to seize the moral high ground.

  3. You do have it correct, ROC. I just don’t think the word merits capitalization. And said “high ground” too often turns out to be a slough (blesseth thee, John Bunyan) of despond at its most perfervid in an attempt at goosestepping political conformity.

  4. “Nolte” – LOL – I like it.
    Some phrases, the users of which I’d like to see banished to the seventh circle of Dante’s Inferno:
    “close proximity”
    “unexpected surprise”
    Has anyone else noted the TV ad campaign for a movie whose title I can’t recall, because the ad is built around this memory-cleansing quote from Maxim, which apparently has become our new cultural arbiter: “one of the year’s most unexpected comedy surprises”?
    There is so much wrong with that little phrase. That some advertising dolt is shouting it at us, when it should have been buried quietly in an unremarked grave in an unknown potter’s field outside a forgotten town in North Dakota, tells me more than I want to know about the state of our culture in the waning moments of 2005.

  5. Happy New Year all you New Jerseyites…
    I’m 82 years old and have been meaning to tell you guys how much I appreciate your blog..I was born and lived 65 years in your area(Passic and clifton)
    and then California and now Ashland,Oregon.
    (It’s much like Montclair)
    So, THANKS….

  6. Happy New Year all you New Jerseyites…
    I’m 82 years old and have been meaning to tell you guys how much I appreciate your blog..I was born and lived 65 years in your area(Passic and clifton)
    and then California and now Ashland,Oregon.
    (It’s much like Montclair)
    So, THANKS….

  7. Ass hat- (noun) When you have your head up your ass you’re wearing your ass as a hat. Example: What made you think it was a good Idea to sell those PHT CDs at school you ass hat?!
    Not too weak. Not too strong. Makes the point.

Comments are closed.