There’s a list of new dictionary words that are part funny, part sad and part annoying, depending on your point of view.
It’s always interesting to see what makes the latest list of new dictionary words because it gives us the chance to see English evolving before our eyes.
Some of the words, however, could drop off the face of our language landscape and I wouldn’t miss them at all.
Here are some of the 30 newest dictionary words that fall into that category:
1. Weak sauce
As annoying a word as “awesomesauce” is, there’s finally a word to be even worse. This, as you can probably guess, is the opposite of “awesomesauce.” “Weak sauce,” which is weak enough not even to be a single word, means something that’s poor.
A conlang is a constructed language, and it’s probably most often associated with the Klingon language that Paramount Pictures has attempted to copyright since it was created for its Star Trek franchise. The Language Creation Society adds additional forms of the word, suggesting that conlanging is the creation of constructed languages; and a conlanger is someone who creates or constructs conlangs.
A truther is someone who is convinced that the truth of a matter is being intentionally withheld from the general public. I call these people “conspiracy theorists.” To call someone a “truther,” in my mind, seems to give their argument more credence than it’s probably worth.
Here’s an odd one: the “wayback” is the back of a van, station wagon or SUV. I call that area the “back,” which seems to be clear enough for me.
5. Woo Woo
This word is annoying because it could be anything in this day and age. Mental_Floss says it means “dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific.” See also: “alternative facts.”
The main reason this word is annoying is because it’s been around for so long that it should already have been in the dictionary. It was in Cab Calloway’s 1950 song, “The Hi-De-Ho Miracle Man,” and its etymology suggests it may have been a form of “yes sir,” and puts it as having originated in the 1930s. It only took 80 years for the dictionary to conclude it was worth their time.
Mental_Floss describes it this way: “To make a seemingly modest, self-critical, or casual statement or reference that is meant to draw attention to one’s admirable or impressive qualities or achievements.” Why disguise the bragging by adding humble to the beginning? By definition, there’s nothing “humble” about it.
It’s a basketball term for a ball that not only fails to go in the hoop, but misses the net, rim and backboard altogether. Fail would seem to do fine in this case.
9. Food Insecure
Here’s a politically correct term for someone who is unable to access a sufficient amount of affordable, nutritious food. The USDA uses “food security” labels to determine what portion of the population has such access. Even though the term is just hitting the dictionary now, the USDA has replaced the label “food insecurity” with two newer ones: “Low Food Security” (which used to be “food insecurity without hunger”) and “Very Low Food Security (which used to be “food insecurity with hunger”).
A listicle is an article that essentially consists of a list. This post is an example. I’m not annoyed by this post, just the word.