In some of the most recent updates of the dictionary, words like long COVID and super-spreader were added, which shows you what kind of years we had in 2020 and 2021. Titer was also added, which feels like the Mandela Effect to me as I thought titer was already a word in the dictionary. I’ve been using it for decades to refer to our dog’s need for shots. As in, “We can get a titer to see if they have the antibodies already and don’t need the shots.” How could it not have been in the dictionary?
Now, in September of 2022, some new fun words were added to the dictionary, including a few words that I use all the time and honestly already thought were part of the dictionary. The Mandela Effect is hitting me hard with this one!
10 Words That Were Added To The Dictionary Recently
The word ‘cringe’ is often used to describe a feeling of embarrassment or awkwardness. For example, you might say your boss telling a bad joke in front of the whole office can cause everyone to cringe.
I’m sure I was saying this when I was a teenager, over 20 years ago.
In fact, this article says that cringe was originally introduced in the 16th century. So it took that long to get into the dictionary? Talk about patience!
My husband uses the word ‘cringe’ all the time. Especially when talking about work. It’s just surprising to me that it was just added into the dictionary.
2. Side Hustle
So I guess this was in the slang dictionary as opposed to the actual dictionary because on dictionary.com they actually give meaning to side hustle in January of 2019.
I know that in recent years, side hustle has become increasingly popular, and not just for students or people who need to supplement their income. A side hustle can refer to a way to pursue their passion while still maintaining financial stability. It can also be a way to gain experience and build up a portfolio in a chosen field. In the current gig economy, side hustles are becoming more and more common, as people look for ways to make money that fits with their lifestyle. Whether it’s driving for Uber, selling handmade jewelry, or starting a blog, there are endless possibilities for making money through a side hustle.
But adding the term side hustle to the dictionary comes with a singular definition. It refers to doing work to supplement income to one’s primary job.
Despite that, I’m sure it will still be used to describe many other things, including doing things you are passionate about.
3. False Negative And False Positive
How can this not be part of the dictionary? Over 20 years ago, I took Chemical Technology in college, and we used these words. I’ve heard these words my whole life. What the heck took so long to get these words into the dictionary?
Unless it means that they are getting more false negatives and false positives in recent times… for some reason.
Before it was a word in the dictionary, I understood a false negative to mean that a negative result comes up when it’s positive, and a false positive means that a positive result comes up when it’s actually negative. The dictionary agreed with me.
Booster dose was also just added to the dictionary. BOOSTER DOSE! This concept has been around forever, so how was it not in the dictionary before?
4. Level Up
Besides gaming, this word has been used in the personal development niche for as long as I can remember. I have been leveling up my life since my early twenties.
Mindvalley has been using it for years and years.
The dictionary defines it as advancing or improving yourself or something or someone else and then includes a weird bit about ‘in or as if in a game’. I don’t understand that, although, I guess life can be considered a game at times.
I remember my Grandpa saying this over 20 years ago. Again, this is another slang word that had a lot of patience as it waited to get into the dictionary as it simply means a shock – but, in my experience, it’s used as a sarcastic word.
For instance, when someone tells you that you’ve gained weight, you can say ‘That’s such a shockeroo!’ to emphasize the ridiculousness of their statement.
Really? This wasn’t in the dictionary? Come on!
As someone who has had family members make furniture since I was young, top-coat was a word that I fully assumed was in the dictionary.
Or what about with nails? We always put a top-coat on our nails to protect the rest of it and make it all shiny and pretty.
This makes me mad. It reminds me of the movie Anchorman where a young woman was scoffed at for doing the news.
So obviously weatherman has been in the dictionary and even weatherwoman is in the dictionary. I think that would have been good enough. But no, they have to add weather ‘girl’.
So if we are dividing up women into young and old, where is weatherboy in the dictionary?
8. Grocery Shop
No way! This can’t have JUST been added to the dictionary. I must be in an alternative universe.
Not only that, grocery shopper and grocery shopping were added to the dictionary in September of 2022!
Grocery shopping is something we’ve done forever. This makes no sense to me.
All those coaches who looked at people and thought, ‘Gee, they’re coachable’ had to work hard to get this word in the dictionary.
10. Shock Resistance
Haven’t mechanics been using this term forever? Again, referring back to my grandpa, he used this term often.
I am shocked that this was just added to the dictionary.
Two Words I Can See As Being New To Be Added To The Dictionary
There are two words that I can understand as just being added to the dictionary.
I’ve written about the term plant-based before and what it means to different people.
To me, it means you eat no animal products.
According to the dictionary, it means to be mostly or entirely derived from plants, which means that you could have fish in a dish with mostly plants and call it plant-based… according to the dictionary.
I’m not happy with that definition. As someone who doesn’t eat animal products, it would be hard to trust a menu that has plant-based options if they use the dictionary’s definition of plant-based,
The definition is a little bit funny to me. It says that a liquid is made with ‘ground oats’. I don’t use ground oats. I just use oats to make my oat milk.
I do like that it refers to the oat milk as a milk substitute.
Having Fun With Definitions
If you want to play a fun game with words and definitions, I highly recommend Balderdash. We’ve played it in our house for as long as I can remember.
Playing Balderdash is how I learned that you need to include a ‘n’ after ‘a’ if the next word begins with a vowel. For instance, ‘an apple’ or ‘an egomaniac’ as opposed to ‘a shock’ or ‘a meal’.
My grandpa embarrassingly informed me of it as he was reading our answers out loud.
In Balderdash, one person reads a word from a card and then everyone has to write down what they think the definition of that word is. The person who reads the word writes down the correct definition and then reads everyone’s definitions and the correct definition out loud. Then everyone picks which definition they think is true and points are awarded to people for guessing the right answer or for having someone else guess your answer.
My grandpa used to write down the right answer at least 70% of the time. So there were often two similar definitions and that’s when the rest of us knew that one of them had to be right.
I wasn’t so good at the game when I was young, but I can get people to guess my false definitions pretty easily now.
Tip: If I can’t think of a definition, I sometimes look at the Echo Show and use whatever information it’s flashing as a definition. It always sounds very professional and correct to everyone else.
If you are interested, you can see the complete list of words added to the dictionary in September of 2022 on this page.