The New Words Are In, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

2 Min read

13 New words

Late to Coffee with a Baker’s dozen

*

New words are in. And, 370 words have been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary this September. You likely know many and below are some of my favorites. The editors break them down by category, but I noted these in no particular order.

I’m aware when my teen reacts to the lewk–or lack of look–that my OOFOS slides are cringe enough to let me know.* Today my son’s friend wears OOFOS to the house, adorkable my teen might concede. I am ahead of my time.

“How old is this dumbphone?” my daughter asks. “It’s a flip phone honey, cost like $30 to replace this year when the battery died in the old one. Nana likes it because she knows how to use it.” (This is a retronym for the smartphone.)

Banh mi has entered the lexicon, a Vietnamese loanword. The popular sandwich–bread/baguette as literal translation for mi–has been a household name for me. If you like VN cuisine, the word banh refers to a kind of ‘cake’ or prepared item such as banh cuon (fresh spring roll), banh nam (flattened pasta noodle traditionally steamed in banana leaf), or banh beo (steamed pasta with shrimp topping).

*

I’m late to coffee but tickled to see oat milk make the list, the substitute two friends suggested this year. Coffee as it was when I grew up in its convenience-store and dad’s-kitchen-counter-drip variety was for old people and bitter. Enter the modern cafe with its espresso concoctions and coffee alternatives. I love the smell and the milk cuts the bitterness. I’ll try oat milk, since I bought some yesterday.

The baby hedgehog is a hoglet, an addition the word-birds felt compelled to preface as one of remarkable cuteness, bless them.

hoglet

The metaverse made it into the MWD, if you were wondering whether such a term belonged to DC Comics or Marvel. In computing it’s about multiple individual virtual realities such as gaming, live entertainment, or collaborative spaces.

Check out janky, sponcon, pwn (is this a Scrabble-worthy word without vowels?), and omakase because they’re fun. A host of health terms make the list, as they had last update with new words in 2020, a la COVID. Blah.

I’ll close with dawn chorus because I appreciate the sounds of sunrise more when I’m rested.

*

FOOTNOTES

*Baker’s Dozen for this letter includes 13 new words AND for good measure one old, retronym. I thought generosity was the reason behind the extra. Here are theories on the origin.

There are a few theories as to why a baker’s dozen became 13, but the most widely accepted one has to do with avoiding a beating. In medieval England there were laws that related the price of bread to the price of the wheat used to make it. Bakers who were found to be “cheating” their customers by overpricing undersized loaves were subject to strict punishment, including fines or flogging. Even with careful planning it is difficult to ensure that all of your baked goods come out the same size; there may be fluctuations in rising and baking and air content, and many of these bakers didn’t even have scales to weigh their dough. For fear of accidentally coming up short, they would throw in a bit extra to ensure that they wouldn’t end up with a surprise flogging later. In fact, sometimes a baker’s dozen was 14—just to be extra sure. (Britannica.com)

*OOFOS is the modern variant of the Ho Chi Minh sandal, but with tangible foot relief for the runner.
*Link to video of dawn chorus, May 5, 2019 Wake Up Calls was created over a nine year period, using recordings of bird song featured on the red and amber lists of endangered British birds (with the exception of a Robin and a Blackbird, which aren’t endangered – yet).

Sep 23, 2022

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Mylinh Shattan is a writer who has lived on three continents, served in the Army, worked in corporate America, and taught in college. She loves adventures, in the world and in the mind. Literature is relevant and learning is a lifelong pursuit, so you might as well have a bit of fun along the way.

Stay Up to Date

Become a better reader and writer today and try the TreeHouseLetter for free. Always learning with a bit of fun.

Latest Posts

New Year, New Habits: THL on Instagram

2 min read Writing community Marketing platform 4 Instagram posts * It's a New Year with new habits: I am on Instagram! I know, it's hard to contain the excitement but please take a minute to check the posts below before you click over. They are drawn from...

How to Capture a Life in 400 Words

3 Min read The Obituary AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * Writing an obiturary is a sobering task. I'm not sure if it is harder to write one for someone you know, because I haven't had to do that. My husband wrote his parents' obituaries and my father had written...

Punch In, Punch Out: the Profession and the Side Hustle

3 Min read 1 Book rec Writing Originality and Passion AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify iTunes * So you want to write? Do you like words? I finished reading Murakami's book Novelist as a Vocation which was published in 2015 and translated to the English in 2022. As of the...

“Pithy and Practical” – Time in Memoir

4 Min Read Time as a Literary Element The Divided Self Christmas and the Solstice Readers Call to Action AVAILABLE IN PODCAST Spotify iTunes * Not to toot my own horn, but I'll let my cousin do so. She wrote in her Christmas card that she loved the TreeHouseLetter...

Which Part of Speech Makes Up Most of the English Language?

4 Min read Toolbox, Parts of Speech 1 Book rec, grammar guide Word nerd alert Ages 9 to 99 * Let's talk about the parts of speech. As for the seven words in that sentence, the first two-- let's talk--are a sort of conundrum. They're not spoken at all, though I am...

Giving Thanks for Dissent and Cookies

3 Min read True Story On Gratitude and Dissent 1 Cookbook rec AVAILABLE IN PODCAST SPOTIFY APPLE PODCASTS * Giving thanks this time of year is a practice in gratitude. Gratitude is vogue, hip, lit. It's handy and eternal, an ever-ready virtue, making an appearance at...

On Perfect Love and Longing

4 Min read 2 Book recs True story AVAILABLE ON PODCAST Spotify Apple Podcasts E-Bar in SONO's Nordstrom * The espresso and warm froth quicken the senses, which I need for what I'm about to hear. I'm sitting at the E-Bar on a Tuesday with my mother. I like it here and...

Topics

Become a better reader and writer today and try the TreeHouseLetter for free. Always learning with a bit of fun.