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There are now 455 new words in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, including “TBH” and “dad bod.”

Emily Temple

October 29, 2021, 9:26am

This week, Merriam-Webster added 455 new words and phrases to its online dictionary. As always, the list makes me feel deeply uneasy about where the world has been and is going, and features a fun/confusing mix of new and old terminology. Like the time when we needed faux-hawk has really passed, no? On the other hand, I can’t believe the dictionary didn’t have horchata before, and I’m glad someone out there is still able to discover some good things. (Also, Joe Manchin, please note the term fourth trimester, you craven menace.) Anyway! Here are some standouts from the list of new additions:

TBH : an abbreviation for “to be honest.” TBH is frequently used in social media and text messaging.

amirite : slang used in writing for “am I right” to represent or imitate the use of this phrase as a tag question in informal speech. An example: “English spelling is consistently inconsistent, amirite?”

FTW : an abbreviation for “for the win” —used especially to express approval or support. In social media, FTW is often used to acknowledge a clever or funny response to a question or meme.

super-spreader : an event or location at which a significant number of people contract the same communicable disease — often used before another noun (as in a “super-spreader event”). The term super-spreader originally referred to a highly contagious person capable of passing on a disease to many others, and now can also refer to a single place or occasion where many others are infected.

long COVID : a condition that is marked by the presence of symptoms (such as fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, headache, or brain fog) which persist for an extended period of time (such as weeks or months) following a person’s initial recovery from COVID-19 infection.

vaccine passport : a physical or digital document providing proof of vaccination against one or more infectious diseases (such as COVID-19).

copypasta : data (such as a block of text) that has been copied and spread widely online. Copypasta can be a lighthearted meme or it can have a more serious intent, with a political or cultural message.

whataboutism : the act or practice of responding to an accusation of wrongdoing by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse also : the response itself. The synonymous term whataboutery is more common in British English.

horchata : a cold sweetened beverage made from ground rice or almonds and usually flavorings such as cinnamon or vanilla.

air fryer : an airtight, usually small electrical appliance for quick cooking of foods by means of convection currents circulated rapidly by a fan.

fourth trimester : the three month period immediately following giving birth in which the mother typically recovers from childbirth and adjusts to caring for her infant; especially : the first three months of an infant’s life.

faux-hawk : a hairstyle resembling a Mohawk in having a central ridge of upright hair but with the sides gathered or slicked upward or back instead of shaved.

dad bod informal : a physique regarded as typical of an average father; especially : one that is slightly overweight and not extremely muscular.

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