In case you missed the news, Merriam-Webster added 530 new words to the dictionary in September. These words range from serious to playful to technical to informal. More than 4,000 revisions to definitions, pronunciations, and such were also added.
Vacay, sesh, and inspo are fun and informal. If you don’t have the energy to say vacation, session, or inspiration, you now have an acceptable shortened version. Pickleball, escape room, and free solo (a rock climb without aids or safety equipment) represent games and sports. New words from pop culture include stinger (a short scene that appears during or after the closing credits of a movie) and coulrophobia (a fear of clowns). Aphantasia is the inability to form mental images. Pain point describes a persistent or recurring problem that frequently inconveniences or annoys customers. (Hmmm, couldn’t this also describe a student who is routinely unruly or unengaged and frequently annoys a teacher?:+)
My least favorite addition is fatberg. It’s a combo of fat and iceberg (just like brunch is a combo of breakfast and lunch). A fatberg is a large mass of fat and solid waste that collects in a sewer system. I mean really? First of all, who uses such a word? Secondly, couldn’t there be a better word? How about greaseberg or sewberg? Better yet, yuckberg—now there’s a word that conveys meaning! I may need to submit that one to Merriam Webster.
Surely there are teacher-created words that also belong in the dictionary. Glunami comes to mind. A sticky situation due to kiddos going crazy with glue. Then there’s pencilnator—a routine destroyer of pencils.
Now it’s your turn! Share your teacher words!
PG-rated of course!