Word Invented by Simpsons Now in Dictionary

D'oh, it's 'embiggen'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2018 7:03 AM CST
Welp, Now Merriam-Webster Can Mansplain You Wordies
A Merriam-Webster dictionary sits atop their citation files for the 2014 word of the year, "culture," at the dictionary publisher's offices in Springfield, Mass.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Merriam-Webster's dictionary just got heavier, with 850 new words added to its pages for 2018. "Self-care," "life hack," "dark chocolate," and "tzatziki" finally got the nod, in addition to "glamping" (glamorous camping with plumbing), "mansplain," "hmm," "subtweet," "welp" (a remark expressing resignation or disappointment), and "wordie" (a lover of words), per Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly. A few words needed updated definitions, including "dumpster fire" (a disaster), "bandwidth" (referring to emotional or mental capacity) and "unicorn" (a startup valued at $1 billion or more), reports Business Insider. "Antifa" is also new, alongside "cryptocurrency," "initial coin offering," "blockchain," and dog breeds like "chiweenie" (a cross between a Chihuahua and dachshund).

Another new word, "embiggen," might sound familiar to fans of The Simpsons, though it's perhaps better known through Ms. Marvel's power to embiggen herself (make bigger or more expansive), reports the BBC. Included in Springfield's motto—"A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man"—it was one of two made-up words written into the script of a 1996 episode, apparently on a dare, per Business Insider. But because it's similar to "embolden" and "enlighten" and "doesn't look transparently fake, it's been used in print unwinkingly," Merriam-Webster lexicographer Kory Stamper said in an AV Club video last year. In a statement, Merriam-Webster says all new words have "widespread, sustained, and meaningful use," and are "terms people are likely to encounter" in their daily lives. (More Merriam-Webster stories.)

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