New English Words For 2014

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary recently released the words from 2014 which will be added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

These new words are very diverse and reflect the changes in the way we use language today. Some countries who use a different language consider American English to be a bastard language since we dilute the language with so much slang and words which do not follow the formal structure of the “King’s English”. This view of the language is discussed in great detail in John McWhorter’s book: Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English“.

Many of the words in English are derived from Latin and Greek morphemes. In many cases words taken from Latin or Greek retain the inflectional characteristics and gender from their original languages. Thus, the masculine singular form of “alumni” is “alumnus,” while the feminine singular form is “alumna.” This example also shows that despite the retention of these Latinate forms, particularly in “learned” language, they are often discarded in casual speech, and “alumni” has come to be a singular noun as well as a plural one.

Throughout the history of English new words have been incorporated into the language through borrowing (from languages as varied as Latin, Greek, Scandinavian, Arabic, and many others) as well as through the application of morphological and derivational rules to existing words and morphemes.

Many of today’s new English words don’t follow the old patterns though. We are not “borrowing from other languages as much as creating anew. For example, check out just a few of the new words added to this year’s update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary, and their definitions, by clicking below:

The above new words come from the good old United States. If someone makes up a new word and it sticks, that new word becomes part of our lexicon even if it doesn’t fit the pattern’s of the formal English language.


I have decided to submit the following words for consideration as they do not appear to be words recognized by Merriam-Webster:
1. Googleable. Adjective \ˈgü-gəl-bəl\
Definition: Able to be googled.
Some examples of the adjective in action include :
– searching for text on google and finding it even though the text has been deleted
Used in a sentence: Even though that text has been deleted it is still googleble.

2. Bootilicious. Adjective \ˈbü-tē-di-ˈli-shəs\
Definition: Someone who has a nice looking butt.

Used in a sentence: She has the most “bootilicious” backside I have ever seen.


What about you? Do you know of any English words which are used but not in the dictionary? Do you have any works that you just made up which you think should be used by others? If so, let’s see them!

Father’s Day Thoughts

When Father’s Day gets near many people start thinking of different ways to recognize it.  Generally Father’s Day doesn’t generate as much excitement as Mother’s Day does.

From The modern American holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia. Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her beloved mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died

Due to the campaign efforts of Anna Jarvis, several states officially recognized Mother’s Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

Even though Sonora Smart Dodd proposed a father’s day in 1910 it didn’t get much traction. Americans resisted the holiday during a few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes.

n 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

So 58 years pasted before Father’s Day had the same official recognition as Mother’s Day. Now I know how Rodney Dangerfield felt!

Maybe it took so long for fathers because they were perceived to play a minor role in the parenting arena. Today, many men are playing a major role in parenting their children but some are not getting the respect or support they deserve. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my book on “Men’s Guide to being a Single Parent“. Though the book is geared towards men who are single parents many of the chapters apply to all fathers (even mothers can benefit from some of the information).

Let’s give fathers some love next Father’s Day people. It’s been a long time coming.

No Good Word For Older Non-married Couples

It occurred to me that when two older people are dating (let’s say over 40) calling themselves boyfriend and girlfriend doesn’t seem like the appropriate terms.
Merriam-Webster has the following definitions:

  • Girlfriend – a woman that someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship with
  • Boyfriend – a man that someone is having a romantic or sexual relationship with.

The above definitions are rather generic and everybody uses them from the pre-teens to the grey-hair crowd. Shouldn’t there be a more mature name for the older folks?
I think when the above terms were invented it was assumed that by 30 everybody would be married or dead so we didn’t have to consider them. Then came longer life-spans, women’s liberation, free sex, etc.

For example, on the website someone asked the following question:

“I’m in my mid 40s and dating this lady of a similar vintage. I am trying to find a good word to describe our relationship, but “girlfriend” and “boyfriend” seems inappropriate for us. It reminds me of those forty year old guys who say “I’m gittin’ down wi ma hommies.” It communicates, but it seems out of place.
Perhaps it is the “girl” and “boy” part that bothers me.
Any suggestions for something more appropriate?”

So there are other people out there besides me who are pondering this question (okay maybe I have to much time on my hand)!
If you are introducing your significant other to someone and you are over 40, what do you call them? In my case: friend? girlfriend? Lover? Partner? Mistress (Not)? significant other?
How much is too much information? If I introduce my significant other as ‘friend’ she feels as if I don’t want people to know we are dating. If I introduce her as my lover that may be too much information though this is implied with the word girlfriend also.
At the end of the day it may just depend on how serious your relationship is as each of the above terms may imply varying levels of commitment. Until someone comes up with a better term I guess I will just keep calling my significant other my ‘girl friend’.


What do others think?