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Swole, buzzy, among new words in Merriam-Webster dictionary

3 years 5 months 1 week ago Tuesday, April 23 2019 Apr 23, 2019 April 23, 2019 5:56 AM April 23, 2019 in News
Source: Associated Press
Photo: Merriam-Webster

BOSTON (AP) - Merriam-Webster has added hundreds of new words to its dictionary, reflecting increased usage in popular culture.

The Springfield, Massachusetts-based company on Monday added words like swole, bug-out bag and omnicide to the roughly half-million words already listed. Swole means to get muscular, a bug-out bag is a bag packed with survival supplies, and omnicide means the destruction of all life.

Some words are more familiar, they just have new meanings, for example snowflake, which now also has a usually disparaging meaning of "someone who is overly sensitive." Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large, says the company's lexicographers scan online versions of newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books, and even movie and television scripts until they detect what he calls "a critical mass" of usage that warrants inclusion in the dictionary.

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