More than 300 new words and revised definitions have recently been added to Dictionary.com, building off the online dictionary’s spring additions.
The new terms and definitions reflect an array of emotions expressed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, race, technology and pop culture.
“It’s a complicated and challenging society we live in,” John Kelly, managing editor of Dictionary.com, said in a news release. “Language changes to help us grapple with it.”
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an impact on our lives and language.
Long COVID: a condition characterized by symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an acute phase of COVID-19 infection.
Long hauler: (Pathology) a person who experiences symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an associated acute illness or active infection.
The online dictionary continued its addition of terms related to the United States’ growing awareness of racial injustice, inequality and their root causes.
DEI: diversity, equity, and inclusion: a conceptual framework that promotes the fair treatment and full participation of all people, especially in the workplace, including populations who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination because of their background, identity, disability, etc.
JEDI: justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion: a conceptual framework that attempts to redress disparity and inequality in society, promoting the fair treatment and full participation of all people, especially in the workplace, including populations who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination because of their background, identity, disability, etc.
Cultural appropriation: 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: a social classification, codified in law in some states during the 20th century, that identifies biracial or multiracial individuals as Black if they have any known Black African ancestry, even from a Black ancestor many generations removed.
Black Code: (in the ex-Confederate states) any code of law that defined and especially limited the rights of formerly enslaved African Americans in the period immediately following the Civil War.
Hypodescent: the classifying or identifying of a biracial or multiracial individual as a member of the lower or lowest socially ranking racial group from which that person has ancestry.
Two major products rebranded after racist stereotypes in their original names: Edy’s Pie (formerly Eskimo Pie) and Aunt Jemima (now called Pearl Milling Company).
Technology is always and inevitably changing.
5G: fifth-generation: being or relating to communications technology or a mobile device that supports much faster data-transfer speeds with significantly lower latency than previous versions.
Deplatform: to prohibit (a person or people) from sharing their views in a public forum, especially by banning a user from posting on a social media website or application.
Asynchronous: relating to or being a computer operation that can occur independently, without waiting for another event.
Synchronous: relating to or being a computer operation that must complete before another event can begin.
There’s a place for some fun language play after a tough 2020.
Oof: an exclamation used to sympathize with someone else’s pain or dismay, or to express one’s own.
Snack: (Slang) a sexy and physically attractive person; hottie.
Yeet: an exclamation of enthusiasm, approval, triumph, pleasure, joy, etc.
Zaddy: an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident. We can thank Ty Dolla $ign for popularizing this zesty term.
Side hustle: a job or occupation that brings in extra money beyond one’s regular job and main source of income.
Silver fox: an attractive older person with gray or silver hair, especially a man.
Misper: a missing person.
“Sometimes language changes just for fun,” Kelly said in the news release. “Perhaps these lighter slang and pop culture newcomers to our dictionary reflect another important aspect of our time—a cautious optimism and a brighter mood about the future ahead after a trying 2020.”