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Before, the sentence “Zac Efron is such a zaddy” would be grammatically incorrect. Now, it’s not.
Dictionary.com added more than 300 new words as 2020 reshaped and expanded our vocabulary. The extensive list included the term “zaddy,” which refers to an attractive man.
Amongst the newly added slang is “oof,” synonymous with “yikes,” and “s–tshow,” honorably mentioned for People’s Choice 2020 Word of the Year.
“The latest update to our dictionary continues to mirror the world around us,” John Kelly, the managing editor for Dictionary.com, said in a press release. “It’s a complicated and challenging society we live in, and language changes to help us grapple with it.”
“Deplatform,” most commonly used in social media settings, was also added. It’s now defined as prohibiting people from sharing personal views publicly online for fear of being canceled.
In the digital terminology category, “trigger warning,” abbreviated to “TW,” and “content warning,” abbreviated to “CW,” were also added.
COVID-19 also added words to our everyday lexicon that we would have never used otherwise.
“Long COVID,” referring to lasting side effects of coronavirus infection, is now a dictionary-approved term. “Synchronous” and “asynchronous,” describing the way students around the globe adapted to learning through a screen, made the cut, too.
The pandemic wasn’t the only world-altering event that introduced new vocabulary. Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd introduced everyone to a slew of terms as well.
“Minoritize,” not to be confused with “marginalize,” and “DEI,” meaning “diversity, equity and inclusion,” are also amongst the new entries.
But not all the definitions were serious, noted Kelly in the press release, adding that the fun terms elicited laughs throughout a uniquely difficult year.
“Perhaps these lighter slang and pop culture newcomers to our dictionary reflect another important aspect of our time — a cautious optimism and a brighter mood about the future ahead after a trying 2020,” he said.
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