“Froyo” and Other Funky Words Added to the Dictionary this Year

It seems that the words added annually to the Oxford Dictionary or Merriam-Webster get more and more interesting with each passing year. Last year, we were gifted with the popular acronym “YOLO” (a word so overused people simply stopped using it), and, weird shortened versions of words like “‘Merica”. Suffice it to say, new words are usually a huge indication of how well, or badly, the year is going—and 2016 was a doozy. Hopefully things are looking up in 2017 with a few of Merriam-Webster’s new additions being very foodie friendly. Check out some of these newest additions below!

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1. Froyo – noun|  fro·yo  |ˈfrō-ˌyō | frozen yogurt

It’s about time America’s favourite frozen treat had its own line in the dictionary! While froyo experienced a peak in popularity from around 2006-2012, it’s still a widely recognised food item today. It’s almost impossible to walk down the streets of any major city in the U.S. and not find a froyo shop (but you can try, if you like).

2. Sriracha – noun |sri·ra·cha | sə-ˈrä-chə | a pungent sauce that is made from hot peppers pureed with usually garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar and that is typically used as a condiment

As hard as it may be to believe, sriracha didn’t garner its spot in the dictionary until this year. Much like froyo, sriracha experienced a massive appeal – so much so that you could find srirarcha flavoured anything (sriracha lip balm anyone?).  Sriracha is considered to be one of the biggest food trends in the last decade, so I’d say its position in the dictionary is well deserved!

3. Alt-right – noun | ˈȯlt-ˈrīt | a right-wing, primarily online political movement or grouping based in the U.S. whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centred on ideas of white nationalism

It’s safe to say that politics in America have been volatile as of late, and we’ve seen certain political movements gain ground like never before. Alt-right has been in use since 2009, but gained prominence in the 2016 election and went on to become one of the most popular words in politics—which is why it’s been bumped into the Merriam-Webster this year.

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4. Farmers market – noun | a market at which local farmers sell their agricultural products directly to consumers

Let’s get back to food, shall we (by far a much more pleasant topic than politics)? Farmers market is the why-hasn’t-Leonardo-DiCaprio-won-a-stinking-Oscar of the word world. Believe it or not, farmers market was first used back in the 1800s, but didn’t win its Oscar, ahem,* place in the dictionary* until over a hundred years later.

5. Bibimbap – noun | bi·bim·bap  | ˈbē-ˈbēm-ˈbäp | a Korean dish of rice with cooked vegetables, usually meat, and often a raw or fried egg

Bibimbap garnering a spot in the dictionary points to the ever-growing mainstream appeal of Korean food amongst American consumers. Never heard of this tasty dish? All it takes is to browse a few images on Google to sell you on the idea, because it looks amazing! On another note, this is starting to read more like a delicious menu than an actual article!

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6. Troll – noun  | ˈtrōl | to harass, criticize, or antagonize [someone] especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts

Back in the day when you’d think troll, a dwarf-type creature from Scandinavian folklore would probably be the first thing to come to mind. In recent years, however, social media has drastically changed the meaning of the word, and now it is closely associated with someone who comes out of their internet cave to antagonise others. Will future generations picture a pale, angry individual stooped over a computer screen in a basement somewhere when reading fairy tales with trolls in them? Hopefully not!

7. Word salad – noun | a string of empty, incoherent, unintelligible, or nonsensical words or comments

Word salad may sound like it is food related, but it’s not. Originally, word salad would refer to incoherent speech that manifested itself due to a mental disorder. Because it has been used more frequently in political spheres lately, the phrase received something of a makeover with a whole new definition to boot. Now, it’s simply a string of unintelligible words!

What words do you think deserved their spot in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and which should have been left out?