Merriam-Webster’s new words include ‘unfriend,’ ‘spoiler alert,’ ‘gamification’

Social media is well-represented in the list of 150 new terms added to the dictionary publisher’s collegiate edition.


If you quite understandably unfriend someone who tries to catfish you via social networking, Merriam-Webster officially has your back.

Those three terms—”unfriend,” “catfish,” and “social networking”—are among the 150 new words and phrases that the publisher has officially added to the new edition of its collegiate dictionary. They’re part of a contingent of social media-related terms that have been added. Others include “gamification,” “crowdfunding,” “hashtag,” “selfie,” and “tweep.”

A few other terms are deeply entrenched in the digital age, though they don’t necessarily relate specifically to social networking. “Spoiler alert” is something people often see online, with regard to posts that include important plot points from movies, TV shows, and books. “E-waste” is discarded electronic products. The “digital divide” is about equality of online access.

Still other terms are more low-tech. A “Yooper” is someone from the upper peninsula of Michigan. A “freegan” is someone scavenges for free food. And “fracking” has become a word that is very commonly used.

For a longer list of the new words, along with definitions, check out Time‘s write-up.

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