From pop culture to pot culture, news, trends, political movements, fashion, food, everything swirling around our ever-changing world influences the words, language and expressions we use.
Dictionary.com recently added more than 300 new words and definitions to its online database, reflecting the year’s news and booming pot culture with words such as “dabbing” and “Kush.”
“Some words like 420 and Kush reflect broader acceptance of marijuana use and culture, as it’s becoming medically and recreationally legal across the country,” Dictionary.com said in a statement. “Once again, many new words came straight from the headlines, from Black Lives Matter and Burkini to alt-right and clicktivism.”
Launched in 1995, Dictionary.com is now among the most important digital dictionaries in English.
So how do they choose new words?
Art, food and fashion all provide lexicographers with a huge supply of new and interesting words, according to Dictionary.com’s blog.
New words and definitions reflect trends and insights into how, and why, certain words within our cultural and political discourse inevitably impact the evolution of language.
Dictionary.com lexicographer Jane Solomon told CNN that choosing new words is an intense and involved process and that language continually changes and evolves—and so does slang.
“We can see what words people have tried to look up on Dictionary.com that haven’t led to a definition,” said Solomon.
“Is this word or that word too new or too slang? No. There’s not just one correct English. Standard English—the register of English used in school and work—is not the only correct English,” she continued. “As a lexicographer, I do not define how the language is used, the speakers do. And if speakers are using a certain set of words, then that is correct English.”
Dictionary.com’s updates come shortly after Merriam-Webster added more than 1,000 new words to its dictionary this past February. A more traditional dictionary, Merriam-Webster added the word Budtender back in 2015.
So, open up the dictionary, and you’ll soon find out how fun it is to be a logofile: a lover of words!