To me, there’s something so inspiring about the sprightly, dynamic nature of language — new words are cropping up all the time! And as soon as they go out and play, they often find themselves widely adopted. Some of them make such a big splash that, after a few years and some major media attention, they actually end up in word heaven: the dictionary. Consider some of the new kids on the block who’ve made their way into the latest Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary’s hallowed pages, drawn from the digital world and social media, the food industry, and the environment.
On the digital front, we have “spoiler alert,” “hashtag,” “tweep,” and “selfie,” which Ellen Degeneres immortalized when she tweeted a photo of herself and a bunch of celebs around the world in about two seconds. On the food front, we have the rather clunky-sounding “turducken” — a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into — you guessed it! — a boneless turkey. Think I’ll pass.
Environmentally speaking, the dictionary now gives a spot to “cap-and-trade” — a system aimed at limiting carbon emissions and “fracking” — which is as noisy and destructive as it sounds. Then there’s also “e-waste” and “freegan” (must be a variation on “vegan”) — someone who trolls for food in trash bins as a way to reduce the conspicuous consumption of resources. Strangely, this seems to be an activity that’s taken off enough to merit a spot in Merriam-Webster. Go figure!
Just recently, I came across a fabulous word: “snoozle.” It means 1) to nuzzle, nestle, or snuggle; also, to snooze; and 2) to thrust (the nose, etc.) into something, as an animal does. “Snoozle” — I just love saying this word! It tickles my tongue and makes me smile. I’m trying to figure out how to use it in my YA novel — don’t you think kids would adore it? Any new words you’ve come across that entertain you? Write on!