I have always been interested in words, where they came from, and what they mean. But I have to admit that for some time now, new words I simply don’t get seem to pop up almost daily. Some are puzzling eyebrow-raisers that I let slide by because they’re associated with something in which I have no interest. On the other hand, I find that many are worth understanding and storing away for possible future use.
In 2022, 370 new words made the hallowed pages of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Here are just a few:
Galentine’s Day: This is a holiday for celebrating friendships, especially those among women. It is observed on February 13.
Mojo: A word often used to mean a charm or a spell, as in “She’s got her mojo working,” it also refers to a seasoning, sauce or marinade in its latest addition to the dictionary.
Hoglet: A baby hedgehog (used mostly by the British).
Yeet (yeeted, yeeting, yeets): A transitive verb that first came to light in 2007. To yeet means to forcibly throw something without regard to the thing being thrown.
Adorkable: Quirky or awkward in an endearing way.
Janky: This can refer to something that is faulty or not functioning properly. It can also refer to something that is of very poor quality.
Shrinkflation: According to the dictionary, this is the practice of reducing a product’s amount or volume per unit while continuing to offer it at the same price.
Atmospheric river: Here’s a word I heard out of the mouth of a TV meteorologist just recently. It is a “concentrated band of water vapor that flows through the atmosphere and that is a significant part of the global hydrologic cycle and an important source of regional precipitation.” There. Think about that!
Heard a new word that has piqued your curiosity? Check to see if it was worthy of Merriam-Webster’s notice.