By Seán Federico-O’Murchú
Amirite, or amirite? As the world evolves, words follow, which is why Merriam-Webster has added 455 new ones to the dictionary this month.
TBH, many have emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic that has shaped so much of people’s lives over the past 20 months.
In 2020, the English word of the year was not surprisingly “pandemic.”
This year, “digital nomads” who want to avoid “super-spreader” events where they might incur a “breakthrough” infection can circle the globe with their “vaccine passports” and hopefully avoid “long Covid.” And Merriam-Webster says that’s all OK, as far as the new winning Scrabble words go.
As uncertain as such a life might be, there’s a fresh menu of dishes highlighted in the latest dictionary additions that can help ease transitions into a post-pandemic world, although some may be wary of developing a “dad bod.” (Yes, that’s in there, too).
The new words are grouped into categories for online culture and communications, the coronavirus, tech and science, pop culture, medicine, politics and food.
According to the wordsmiths, you could begin your day with a “chicharron,” the tasty fried pork belly snack, or some “goetta,” which is meat mixed with oats, onions and spices that comes in the form of a patty.
They might be prepared in an “air fryer,” or not.
But it could be washed down with a refreshing “horchata,” the cold, sweetened drink made from ground rice or almonds and flavored with cinnamon.
And the entire Merriam-Webster-approved meal can now be wrapped up with some delicious “fluffernutter,” the white bread sandwich containing peanut butter and marshmallow crème.
Of course, these regional food terms are not exactly new. Chicharron and horchata are staples in Latin America, while goetta, which is of German origin, has been celebrated as a tasty cousin of scrapple.
The fluffernutter got some attention in 2013 when Sen. Mitt Romney celebrated his 66th birthday with one.
The CNN headline at the time: “Romney’s having his fluffernutter and eating it too.”
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