Dictionary.com added a bunch of new words to its slang section Wednesday morning, including “Megxit,” “VSCO girl,” “Karen,” “Baby Yoda” and more.
Some of these — like “VSCO girl” — are entirely from the internet while others — “hold my beer” — have been around a while. The creation and proliferation of terms within marginalized communities and their eventual appropriation by the masses is of interest to editors at Dictionary.com, which can even be seen in the inclusion of “Karen” and “Becky” in the latest spate of additions. (A “Karen,” per the site, is “an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman,” while a “Becky” is “a stereotype for a white woman, especially one who is unaware or takes advantage of her social privilege.”)
Others capture pop culture phenomena, including “Megxit” — and amalgamation of the Meghan Markle’s first name and exit — and “Baby Yoda,” a popular character from “The Mandalorian.”
Senior research editor John Kelly takes a lot of time to determine the origin of each term and trace its path through various corridors of Twitter and online communities as it winds its way toward a ubiquitous relevance.
“We like to step back and develop a big list of all the ones we’ve updated over the past couple of months, and then we like to highlight some that are particularly interesting juicy notable or important in some way,” he explained of the process, though he was careful to note the addition of each term is “case-by-case.”
“You never know when a slang term is going to go viral,” he said, highlighting the need for his team of digital editors, engineers and coordinators to stay vigilant. “You never know when a new meme’s going to take over Twitter. You never know when a term is going to explode on TikTok, on Instagram, on Twitter.”
The Dictionary.com team, he says, has a Slack channel devoted just to discussing these terms and monitoring anything that could spawn them, from the Oscars, which produced #OscarsSoWhite, to a Billie Eilish single, which caused a spike in searches for “Xannie.”
Dictionary.com has an entry for #OscarsSoWhite, but not yet for Xannie. As Kelly says, the site is still a researched dictionary, not a crowdsourced platform like UrbanDictionary.com. That’s what makes it unique: editors identify the need for a researched, but accessible, definition, then work to make sure it’s factual and available for consumers.
So, what’s Kelly’s favorite of this latest round of additions?
“Big mood,” for sure.
Here’s the full list of the latest round of new slang terms:
- Megxit: Megxit is a slang term for the decision of couple Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to step back from their senior roles in the British royal family.
- Hype House: Hype House is a collective of young social media content creators and influencers who are especially popular on the video app TikTok. It is also the name of the mansion in Los Angeles the group uses and some members live in.
- Karen: Karen is a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially as featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands, and being a nagging, often divorced mother from Generation X.
- self-partnered: Self-
partnered is an alternative for the word single as a relationship status. It was popularized by Emma Watson in a November 2019 interview with Vogue.
- OK boomer: OK boomer is a viral internet slang phrase used, often in a humorous or ironic manner, to call out or dismiss out-of-touch or close-minded opinions associated with the baby boomer generation and older people more generally.
- and I oop: And I oop is a viral phrase from a video by drag queen Jasmine Masters. It has since become stereotyped as a catchphrase of VSCO girls. And I oop or I oop can be playfully used to express shock, surprise, or embarrassment.
- Baby Yoda: Baby Yoda is the popular name for a character known as the Child in the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian. He is a member of the same species as the beloved Star Wars character, Yoda. Baby Yoda’s adorable, lovable appearance helped make the character a widespread meme online.
- Becky: Becky is a stereotype for a white woman, especially one who is unaware or takes advantage of her social privilege. Becky is also used more generally to mock a young white woman as “basic.”
- big mood: Online, people post big mood as a way to react to or describe something they find relatable or resonant in some way. Big mood can at once capture a feeling at a specific moment but also comment on a broader sentiment about life in general. Yeah, existential stuff..Big
mood is also often posted with a joking, judgmental, cheerful, or ironic tone in reaction and in response to content that is variously seen as quirky, genuine, dramatic, or ridiculous.
- cancel culture: Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after that they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. Cancel culture is generally discussed as being performed on social media in the form of group shaming.
- Cheetle: Cheetle is the brand name for the powdery residue that gets on your fingertips while eating the savory cheese snack, Cheetos®.
- chef’s kiss: Chef’s kiss is a gesture and expression meant to show something is perfect or excellent. The gesture is made by pinching the fingers and thumb of one hand together (often in an OK sign), kissing them, and then tossing them dramatically away from the lips. Its tone can be sincere or ironic.
- hold my beer: Hold my beer is an expression joked about being said before an unthinking person does something dangerous or stupid. On the internet, hold my beer is used to make fun of decisions (that are seen to be bad) made by public figures or companies.
- manther: A manther is the male version of a cougar, or a middle-aged woman who has the hots for younger men. Manthers are older men who pursue partners significantly younger than them.
- porch pirate: a thief who takes packages left outside doors by couriers:
- Rapinoeing: Rapinoeing is a viral victory pose named after professional soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe. It involves raising and outstretching the arms at an angle in a confident, joyful display.
- sksksk: Sksksk is an interjection used to convey surprise, happiness, and other intense emotions. It’s stereotyped as an overused expression of VSCO girls on social media.
- sportsball: The goalie dribbles into the outfield for a touchdown! Sportsball is a mildly critical or humorous term used by people who admit they don’t know or care about sports. Sports fans sometimes use it, too, as a playful way to refer to sports they like.
- VSCO girl: VSCO girl is a term, generally used as an insult, for a young, usually white woman who posts trendy pictures of herself edited on the app VSCO. Stereotypes of the VSCO girl include wearing scrunchies and Birkenstock sandals, drinking out of Hydro Flask reusable water canisters, saying sksksk and I oop, and generally seeking attention online.
- zoomer: A zoomer is an informal term for a member of Generation Z, born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It can be used with a neutral, mocking, or ironic tone.