Grammar

10 of the New Words Added to Dictionary.com

123RF

Approximately 300 new words have been added to Dictionary.com in the last week, ranging from selections like Afrofuturism to womp womp.

Whenever there’s a story about new words added to Dictionary.com, it’s always interesting to see what made it there.

This time around, the online dictionary added 300 new entries.

Here are 10 of them.

1. Afrofuturism

Coined by U.S. author and critic Mark Dery in his 1993, “Black to the Future,” it refers to a cultural movement that uses the genres of science fiction and fantasy to project a hopeful, technically advanced future in which people of color thrive.

2. Back hack

This is the forensic computer equivalent to back-tracking and involves following traces of evidence from the point of a security breach to its origin.

3. Bracketology

The past month or so, just in time for the NCAA basketball tournament, many people waded into the area of bracketology. It’s the system of predicting and tracking, in brackets, the elimination of opponents.

4. Colorism

This is a term many people seem content to pretend doesn’t exist. Unlike racism, which uses ones race to discriminate, colorism is said to use the lightness or darkness of one’s skin within the same race to discriminate. Some have long maintained that sometimes even among their own race, light-skinned people are treated better than darker-skinned people.

5. Death cleaning

If your family is anything like mine, we could almost make up our own episode of the TV series Hoarders. Apparently, there must be plenty of people like that in the world if this new entry is any indication. It refers to the process of “cleaning and decluttering one’s home so as to spare others, especially family members, from the chore of it after one’s death.”

Jane Solomon, linguist-in-residence at Dictionary.com, says that it’s a literal translation of the Swedish term döstädning, which is a combination of dö meaning “to die” and städning, meaning “to tidy, clean, clean up, clean out.”

6. JOMO

When you’ve seen people go on an exotic trip or try some death-defying feat like skydiving, you may also see them use the abbreviation YOLO, which means “you only live once.”

JOMO might be nearly the exact opposite philosophy. It stands for the “joy of missing out,” and refers to being content with living out your own interests without worrying that you’re missing opportunities others are embracing.

I never realized it, but I think I have a pretty high level of JOMO going on!

7. Minimoon

I suspect this may be all too clear a sign of the times! It refers to a mini-honeymoon, often just a weekend getaway, that happens immediately after a wedding. The couple will then typically take a more traditional longer honeymoon at some point in the future.

The ever-increasing costs of weddings these days may also be a factor in this word’s creation.

8. Textlationship

In this day and age, there are plenty of us who have Facebook or Twitter friends we’ve chatted with online but never in person. This is the texting equivalent.

9. Whitelash

This term refers to a race-based alternate of backlash: “a hostile or violent reaction by white people to the advances or influx of other racial or ethnic groups.”

Some noted this kind of attitude after President Barack Obama was elected from some people who adamantly objected things he proposed, even when they didn’t object to similar things from politicians who didn’t happen to be “of color.” 

10. Womp Womp

Think of the “Debbie Downer” sketches on Saturday Night Live. Recall those little musical notes that happen right after she rains on everyone’s parade? That’s a classic “womp womp.”


That’s just 10 of the 300.

Which of these have you already used?

Leave a Response

We'd love to hear from you, but remember all comments must be respectful. We reserve the right to remove comments that do not follow our comment guidelines. Click here to review our comment policy.

Your name, as provided, will display on the website with any comment you leave. Your email address and your browser’s IP address does not display publicly and we do not share or sell your email address or IP address to anyone.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.