The dictionary firm said the rapid and informal nature of messages, text messages and tweeting, which has only increased during the pandemic, has “contributed to a vocabulary that has recently been rich in effective and abbreviated terms.”
Among them: “TBH”, an abbreviation for “to be honest” and “FTW”, an abbreviation for “to win.”
Merriam-Webster explains that FTW is used “especially to express approval or support. On social media, FTW is often used to acknowledge a smart or funny answer to a question or meme.”
And it says “amirit” is a quick way to write “am I right”, as in “English spelling is consistently inconsistent, amirite?”
The corona pandemic is also big in the gathering of new entrants, as “super-spreader”, “long COVID” and “vaccine passport” came on the list.
Partisan politics contributed more slang to the lexicon, such as “whataboutism,” which Merriam-Webster defines as “the act or practice of responding to a charge of misconduct by claiming that an offense committed by another is similar or worse.” For Brits, the dictionary notes that “whataboutery” is more commonly used.
The dreaded “vote-a-ramas” that have become a fixture in the US Congress are explained as follows: “an unusually large number of debates and votes taking place in one day on a single piece of legislation, to which an unlimited number of amendments can be introduced, debated and voted on. “
And still other new expressions come from the culinary world, such as “fluffernuts”, the homemade sandwich of peanut butter, marshmallow cream and white bread.
Horchata, the cold sweetened beverage made from ground rice or almonds and usually flavored with cinnamon or vanilla, also managed the cut, as did the chicharron, the popular fried belly or pork skin snack.
As for “father penance”? The dictionary defines it as a “physique considered typical of an average father; in particular: one who is slightly overweight and not extremely muscular.”