Dictionaries do their best to keep up with our rapidly changing language by adding new terms and definitions on a regular basis. Earlier this month, Dictionary.com announced its latest additions, which featured everything from jawn to nepo baby.
Now, it’s Merriam-Webster’s turn. It’s always fun to find out which slang terms earned spots in such a highly esteemed dictionary, and this round didn’t disappoint: rizz, bussin’, finsta, and thirst trap all made the cut.
Netizens were left somewhat shocked but mostly pleasantly surprised by Merriam-Webster’s ‘cromulent’ addition of these words, leading to some hilarious reactions on social media.
Merriam-Webster is the US’s oldest dictionary publisher — their history stretches back to 1831 — but in 2023 their rizz has officially been goated.
“We’re very excited by this new batch of words,” says Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large at Merriam-Webster. “We hope there is as much insight and satisfaction in reading them as we got from defining them.”
690 new words have been added to the Merriam-Webster lexicon as part of the company’s monthly dictionary update, and among them are nouns like “rizz,” adjectives like “goated” and “bussin” and verbs like “simp.”
Apart from its glorious slang additions, Merriam-Webster has also added words and phrases from the digital worlds to its lineup. These encompass the AI space (“generative AI,” “large language model”) and the world of gaming (“cutscene,” “nerf,” “rage quit) among others. There are also plenty of terms from topics as wide-ranging as “culture and society” (“thirst trap,” “‘grammable,” “edgelord”) to business (“meme stock,” “girlboss”).
“Signs of a healthy language include words being created, words being borrowed from other languages, and new meanings being given to existing words,” Merriam-Webster said in a blog post announcing the additions. “Based on our most recent research, we are pleased to inform you that English is very (very!) healthy.”