New Words for 2014 by Merriam Webster: Their Meaning and Interesting Facts

Merriam Webster, one of the renowned Dictionary recently uncovered some of their new words for 2014. A total of 150 new words for 2014 will be added to Merriam Webster’s stash of vocabulary. In fact, these new words for 2014 can now be browsed in and will be imprinted on Merriam Webster’s collegiate dictionary.

Merriam Webster’s

new words for 2014

, is a spectrum of pop culture, technology and even culinary evolution. Peter Sokolowski (Editor, Merriam Webster ) comments on these  new words for 2014 saying- ““So many of these new words for 2014 show the impact of online connectivity to our lives and livelihoods. Tweep, selfie, and hashtag refer to the ways we communicate and share as individuals. Words like crowdfunding, gamification, and big data show that the Internet has changed business in profound ways.”

Merriam WebsterOn the perspective of etymology, Merriam Webster’s new words for 2014 can be considered as another milestone. Words that used to be unconventional like “unfriend”, “spoiler alert” and “hot spot”, can now be part of a book report. There is also an inception of new meanings e.g for “catfish”, aside it from being a whiskered aquatic creature.

Riffle through to know some of the interesting

new words for 2014 that made it to the big red book .

Auto-Tune : (transitive verb, first known use: 2003)

to adjust or alter (a recording of a voice) with Auto-Tune software or other audio-editing software esp. to correct sung notes that are out of tune.

Trivia: Cher’s “Believe” was the first song to be commercially recorded using Auto-tune

New Words for 2014

Baby Bump

baby bump (noun, first known use:  2003): the enlarged abdomen of a pregnant woman

Trivia: Bonnie Fuller, a Canadian tabloid editor was said to have prodded this colloquial term when he used to publicise pictures of pregnant celebrities.

big data (noun, first known use:  1980): an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.

Trivia: Tracing the origin of this word hasn’t been clear cut yet. Reports says that John R. Mashed, a chief scientist in Silicon Graphics way back 1990 coined this term in most of his presentations.

brilliant (adjective., new sense): British: very good, excellent

cap-and-trade (adjective.,first known use: 1995): relating to or being a system that caps the amount of carbon emissions a given company may produce but allows it to buy rights to produce additional emissions from a company that does not use the equivalent amount of its own allowance

Trivia: This is market-approach that aims to control pollution.

New Words for 2014


catfish (noun, new sense): a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.

Trivia: In 2010 there was a documentary film titled “Catfish”, a story on an online romantic relationship that started on Facebook between Nev and Megan. Turned out that Megan’s Facebook profile  was a sham. This film was the influence on MTV’s “Catfish: The TV Show”, which similarly exposed lies on oline dating.

crowdfunding (noun, first known use: 2006): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people esp. from the online community

new words for 2014


Trivia: The highest known amount to be raised via crowfunding is $40,000,000 . It is surprisingly for a video game called Star Citizen.


digital divide (noun, first known use: 1996): the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not

dubstep (noun, first known use: 2002): a type of electronic dance music having prominent bass lines and syncopated drum patterns

New words for 2014


e-waste (noun., first known use:  2004): waste consisting of discarded electronic products (as computers, televisions, and cell phones)

Trivia: Agbogbloshie , Ghana and Guiyu, China  are the most popular e-waste dumpsites in the world.



fangirl (noun., first known use:  1934): a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something

fracking (noun, first known use:  1953): the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)

new words for 2014


freegan (noun, first known use:   2006): an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources

Trivia: Conceived as part of “ Anti-Consumerism” ideology. It is said to be combination of “free” and “vegan” words.

gamification (noun, first known use:  2010): the process of adding game or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation

new words for 2014

IRC Hashtag

hashtag (noun, first known use:   2008): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that clarifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet)

Trivia: Use of hashtag in Twitter was influenced by the use of  the # symbol in IRC chatrooms to label groups and topics.

new words for 2014


hot spot (noun, new sense): a place where a wireless Internet connection is available

insource (verb, first known use: 1983): to procure (as some goods or services needed by a business or organization) under contract with a domestic or in-house supplier

motion capture (noun, first known use: 1992): a technologysinbad for digitally recording specific movements of a person (as an actor) and translating them into computer-animated images

Trivia: Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists was the first CGI film that used motion capture.

paywall (noun, first known use: 2004): a system that prevents Internet users from accessing certain Web content without a paid subscription

Trivia: The Wall Street Journal was the first major newspaper to implement hard paywall in 1997.

merriam webster



pepita (noun., first known use: 1942): the edible seed of a pumpkin or squash

often dried or toasted

pho (noun, first known use: 1935): a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles

Trivia: A popular streetfood in Vietnam, which is pronounced as “fa”

poutine (noun, first known use:  1982): chiefly Canada: a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds

new words for 2014


 selfie (noun, first known use:  2002): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera esp. for posting on social networks.

Trivia: London was recently hailed as selfie capital of the world for famous tourist spots such as London Eye, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. The most famous selfie which was overwhelmengly retweeted 2 million times, was the 2014 Oscars selfie taken by Ellen De Genres.

social networking (noun , first known use:   1998): the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships esp. onlinesocial

spoiler alert (noun, first known use:   1994): a reviewer’s warning that a plot spoiler is about to be revealed

steampunk (noun, first known use:   1987): science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology

Trivia: There is a so called steampunk fashion, which is blend of Victorian era get ups (corsetspetticoats and bustles; suits with waistcoats) accentuated with technological and “period” accessories: timepieces, parasols, flying/driving goggles, ray guns even cellphones.

turducken (noun, first known use: 1982): a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey

new words for 2014


Trivia: Combination of 3 words: Turkey, Duck, Chicken

 tweep (noun , first known use:  2008): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets

Merriam Webster


Trivia: The sum of Twitter + Peep (people)

unfriend (verb, first known use:  2003): to remove (someone) from a list of designated friends on a person’s social networking Web site

Yooper (noun, first known use: 1977): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — used as a nickname


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