The term “F-bomb” first surfaced in newspapers more than 20 years ago but only landed in the mainstream Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary on Tuesday, along with sexting, flexitarian, obesogenic, energy drink and life coach.
In all, the company picks about 100 additions for the 114-year-old dictionary’s annual update, gathering evidence of usage over several years in everything from media to the labels of beer bottles and frozen food.
Many online dictionary and reference sites already list F-bomb and other entries Merriam-Webster is only now putting into print. A competitor, Oxford University Press, has F-bomb under consideration for a future update of its New Oxford American Dictionary but beat Merriam-Webster to print on a couple of other newcomers: mash-up, added to the Oxford book in 2005, and cloud computing, included in 2010.
Here are Some Other New Entries:
Merriam-Webster leads the dictionary market, said John Morse, president of the privately held company who wouldn’t release sales figures. He also wouldn’t release a full list of new entries, in part to put off competitors.
“Let them find their own new words,” he joked. “It’s not a cutthroat business but we like to say it’s a bare knuckles business.” Morse did acknowledge: “It’s harder for some paper dictionaries to stay in business in the era of online dictionaries.”
More New Entries to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:
Craft beer, e-reader, game changer, a new definition for “gassed” as slang for drained of energy, gastropub, geocaching, shovel-ready (a construction site ready for work) and tipping point.
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