Karen Fratti
February 24, 2017 2:01 pm
NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

Just in case you can’t fully explain what the definition of “craptacular” is to your parents, it’s now in the dictionary. Earlier this week, the Oxford English Dictionary added words like “squad goals,” “YAS,” and “meet cute” to the online version of its database. So they aren’t totally official yet, in case any of you grammar and word geeks were nervous about having the word “jelly” (for jealous, obvs) tarnishing the reputation of the most famous printed dictionary in the world.

Some other highlights from the 300-word addition list are “cringey,” “freecycle” (giving something away instead of trashing it), and “drunk text.” Though we may have a war of the online dictionaries on our hands, since the OED has drunk text as two words and the Buzzfeed Style Guide — not a dictionary so much as a spelling reference for slang — advises you to hyphenate it. Who do we trust more?

Other additions were more politically focused, which is no surprise given all of the upheaval since the election. “Clicktivism” — defined as “actions performed via the internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, for example signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on social media” — made the cut as did a bunch of terms about the environment, like “climate refugee” or “climate change denier.”

Other highlights?

“haterade”

Excessive negativity, criticism, or resentment.

“biatch”

An affectionate or disparaging form of address.

“sausage party”

An event or group in which the majority of participants are male.

“femslash”

Genre of fiction, chiefly published online, in which female characters who appear together in film, television, or other popular media are portrayed as having a sexual relationship.

“superfruit”

A nutrient-rich fruit considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being 

“fitspo”

Abbreviation for “fitsperation,” or, a person or thing that serves as motivation for someone to sustain or improve health and fitness.

Although many of these words won’t ever make it into the 20-plus volumes of the printed version, who buys dictionaries anymore anyway? Being added to the searchable, free, online version is basically the same honor. As it should be since most of the new words have been in the lexicon for a while now. It’s about time we all make it official.

Dictionaries have a bad reputation for being boring, but these days they seem to be doing as much as possible to stay relevant. Like making drunk text a real verb (or noun, depending on your usage), or throwing shade on Twitter when politicians and their ilk say something ridiculous. Just this week, Merriam Webster corrected Kellyanne Conway on her usage of the word “feminism.

Words matter, right? Whether you’re talking about feminism or a sausage fest.

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