Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Selfie and unfriend in dictionary

Yooper was one of the 150 new words appearing in an updated dictionary (AP)
Yooper was one of the 150 new words appearing in an updated dictionary (AP)

Selfie and poutine - a French-Canadian snack - are among 150 words and phrases added to the latest edition of a dictionary in the US.

Many of the words and terms in the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary relate to digital life and social media, such as spoiler alert, hashtag and tweep.

Others are food-driven, including the Vietnamese staple pho and turducken, a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey, and p outine - fries covered with gravy and cheese curds.

Merriam-Webster relies on a network of observers who track down word usage. Three or four senior editors then make the final selections.

E-waste made it into the update. So did e-freegan, one who scavenges for free food in store and restaurant rubbish bins as a way to reduce consumption of resources.

Also making it in to the dictionary were: steampunk, a literary genre with dress-up followers that combines 19th century Victorian or Edwardian societies with steam-powered technology; unfriend, which joins defriend; and hot spot, a place where Wi-Fi is available.

Other new words include crowdfunding, big data, baby bump, digital divide, fangirl and yooper - a native or long-time resident of Michigan's Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking and its Scandinavian roots.

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