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Lewk, Yeet, Janky and Subvariant Among the 370 New Words and Phrases Being Added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This month, shrinkflation, adorkable, subvariant, yeet, and pumpkin spice are among the 370 words and phrases being added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

It was announced on Wednesday that ICYMI, short for “in case you missed it,” was also added.

“Some of these words will amuse or inspire; others may provoke debate. Our job is to capture the language as it is used,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor. “Words offer a window into our ever-changing language and culture and are only added to the dictionary when there is clear and sustained evidence of use.”

Shrinkflation has become a common term as a result of global inflation. It is described as “the practice of reducing a product’s amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price.”

Although it has been around for years, pumpkin spice is now recognized as a word in the dictionary. Pumpkin spice is a divisive mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice that adds flavor to anything that deals with Fall.

On social media, these words are commonly used as slang or informally.

The word adorkable is a mashup of the words dorky and adorable, meaning “socially awkward or quirky in a way that is endearing.”

According to Merriam-Webster’s definition, “Yeet” is either “used to express surprise, approval, or excited enthusiasm” or as a verb to mean “to throw especially with force and without regard for the thing being thrown.”

New terms in the slang category included janky (of very poor quality), sus (suspicious or suspect), and lewk (a fashion look that is distinctive to the wearer and that is noticeable and memorable to others.)

Additionally, subvariant, booster dose, and emergency use authorization, all new entries in the dictionary, have become standard terms since the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak.

The verb MacGyver, inspired by the television character who can make or fix just about anything using everyday objects, is one of several new words that derive from pop culture.

If you feel overwhelmed by the new words, try listening to a calming dawn chorus, “the singing of wild birds that closely precedes and follows sunrise, especially in spring and summer.”

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