Dictionary adds 100 new words for 2008

Merriam-Webster has announced the addition of 100 new words to its most recent update of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition that will hit bookstores September 1st, 2008.

You’ll enjoy taking a look at some of these new words online. For example, a “wingnut” is no longer just something you use to put something together with, it is also “one who advocates extreme measures or changes; radical.” And, how many of us are guilty of throwing our fingers in the air when saying a word, thereby making use of “air quotes”. Well, now it is official. An “air quote” is “a gesture made by raising and flexing the index and middle fingers of both hands, used to call attention to a spoken word or expression.”


From “mental health day” to “infinity pool” you’ll get a kick out of some of the words now included. Who knew “fanboy” was a term traced back to 1919 for “a boy who is an enthusiastic devotee, such as of comics or movies.” It took 89 years to make it into the dictionary.

Mondegreen is a fun new addition that Merriam-Webster has built a promotion around. A mondegreen is “a noun defined as a word or phrase that results from a mishearing of something said or sung.” See their website www.merriam-webster.com for details on submitting your favorite mondegreen, but hurry, the contest ends on July 25.

You may want to consider throwing a newly official word in your next custom imprinted greeting card. See if it raises interest or discussion, but be careful, you may be labeled a wingnut!