Merriam-Webster has announced in a press release that it’s adding 150 new words to its Collegiate Dictionary. Terms like social networking, selfie, crowdfunding, and hashtag have officially entered the lexicon, reflecting how technology has pervaded modern life.
A number of food-related words have also been added, such as pho, turducken, poutine, and freegan, which is defined as “an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources.”
We’re glad that Merriam-Webster is acknowledging that globalization has influenced our palates, and that environmental activism is a growing part of our collective social consciousness.
However, we’re trying not to dwell on what the inclusion of turducken in the dictionary says about our culture. Especially since Merriam-Webster editors “carefully monitor which words people use most often and how they use them” to determine what’s worth adding.
Given the main criterium for new additions is basically recurrent usage, these are our predictions for words that will be entered when Collegiate Dictionary is updated in 2015:
- a hybrid croissant-and-donut pastry invented and patented by Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York
- an overhyped food trend, as in “The ramen burger is the new Cronut”
- a designer vegetable made by crossbreeding kale and Brussels sprouts
See also: Frankenplant, Portlandia
- food photography, usually shared via social media to induce jealousy or on magazine covers to induce sales
- colloq. A male foodie, usually urban with a focus on elaborate meat preparation
See also: Lardcore
- to leave a review of a restaurant, bar or food truck on the peer-review site Yelp
- to recount a dining experience in too much detail in the style of a professional restaurant reviewer