“Hashtag,” “Selfie,” and “catfish,” are among the 150 words added to the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, America's best-selling dictionary announced in a press release Monday.
Words that have made it into the dictionary include tweep, social networking, selfie, catfish, hashtag, unfriend, crowdfunding, big data, fangirl and gamification, and others popularized by the growing influence of technology and increased use of social media in everyday life.
"So many of these new words show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods," Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. "Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways."
“Catfish,” which was already a part of dictionaries and was defined by Merriam-Webster as “any of an order (Siluriformes) of chiefly freshwater stout-bodied scaleless bony fishes having long tactile barbells,” now has an additional meaning described as “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.”
“Never in a thousand years could we have imagined what a phenomenon Catfish would become,” Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost, and Nev Schulman, creators of the “Catfish” documentary and TV show, said in reaction to the word's addition to the dictionary, in a joint statement. “Seeing this new definition in Merriam-Webster's dictionary is not only an honor for us, it is a reflection of how our experience in the film has now become a universal one, shared by people all over the world.”
Some of the new words and definitions added to the latest edition of the dictionary are:
Selfie (2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.
Big data (1980): an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.
Crowdfunding (2006): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community.
Gamification (2010): the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.
Hashtag (2008): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)
Poutine (1982): a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds
Social networking (1998): the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online
Tweep (2008): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets
Yooper (1977): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan —used as a nickname
Steampunk (1987): science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology