It’s official Merriam-Webster announced today that it had added several new words the dictionary. Here are the official definitions:
Selfie: an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks
Hashtag: a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)
Tweep: a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets
In a press release, Merriam-Webster said the new words “reflect the growing influence technology is having on human endeavor, especially social networking.” The words will appear both online (fittingly!) and in the 2014 print edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
The additions weren’t all focused on technology. The delicious Vietnamese dish pho was added, as was the environmentally controversial practice of fracking — and Yooper, a nickname used for a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. (The Associated Press has much, much more on Yoopers here, if you’re interested.)
All dictionaries, from Merriam-Webster to the Oxford English, add words as they work their ways into the lexicon. The Oxford English Dictionary added “phablet” and “derp” last year; its online wing, the Oxford Dictionary, proclaimed “selfie” the Word of the Year for 2013.