Thousands of new words are added to English dictionaries each year. Humans really have a knack for imagining names for things. So many in fact, we can hardly keep up. Kinda makes you feel terrible for all of the people out there trying their best to learn the English language without losing their minds over how many dang words we invent. Some of these added words are great, and we’re over the moon to have seen them presented with the honor of being immortalized in the English language. Other ones (looking at you ‘swole’) are making us roll our eyes. Here are some of the highlights from 2019:
bingeable (adj) — having multiple episodes or parts that can be watched in rapid succession : suitable for binge-watching
// The premise of this remarkable new bingeable dramedy doesn’t reveal itself until the pilot’s halfway mark.
bougie (adj) — marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability
// Soothing rhythms after midnight, theme songs to lucky affairs, shotgun weddings, and bougie proms, the fodder for adventurous crooners on amateur night at the Apollo …
colorism (noun) — prejudice or discrimination especially within a racial or ethnic group favoring people with lighter skin over those with darker skin
// Under this system of colorism—the system which prevailed in my childhood in Jamaica, and which has carried over to the present—rarely will dark and light people co-mingle. Rarely will they achieve between themselves an intimacy informed with identity.
dad joke (noun) — a wholesome joke of the type said to be told by fathers with a punchline that is often an obvious or predictable pun or play on words and usually judged to be endearingly corny or unfunny
// He’s seen the annual event grow from an Austin oddity to a national event and watched dad jokes, of which puns are the most obvious example, take hold in the millennial consciousness; a dad-joke-devoted Reddit board boasts more than 250,000 members.
dumpster fire (noun) — an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence
// So while 2017 has been, by many measures, a complete dumpster fire of a year, New Yorkers can at the very least take refuge in the fact that their city is becoming an even safer place to live.
hustle (verb) — to make strenuous efforts to obtain especially money or business
// Our quartet was out hustling … and we knew we stood good to take in a lot of change before the night was over.
instagram (verb) — to post (a picture) to the Instagram photo-sharing service
// The couple … were spotted strolling along the Tidal Basin to take part in one of the District’s time-honored springtime activities: Instagramming cherry blossoms.
on-brand (adj) — appropriate to, typical of, consistent with, or supportive of a particular brand or public image or identity
// … the joint venture is completely on-brand for both companies …
page view (noun) — an instance of a user viewing an individual page on a website
// The challenge of wringing profits from page views has eluded much of the industry, and the paper proved unable to end its losing streak.
they (pronoun) — used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary
// I knew certain things about … the person I was interviewing.… They had adopted their gender-neutral name a few years ago, when they began to consciously identify as nonbinary — that is, neither male nor female. They were in their late 20s, working as an event planner, applying to graduate school.
unplug (verb) — to temporarily refrain from using electronic devices (such as computers or smartphones)
// If you go on a summer vacation, how much are you willing to truly unplug? For many of us, it can be hard to put the phone down.
What do we think?
New words are fun, we’ll admit. And some of them (like ‘on-brand,’ ‘instagram,’ ‘page view,’ etc) are super relevant to the work we do. Though it can be frustrating trying to keep up with all these new terms, it’s a crucial part of our job as marketers. But you don’t need to study the entire dictionary to learn these words, simply doing research and immersing yourself in media, the Internet, various technology, etc can help you pick up the words you need to know in an organic way.