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F-bomb enters dictionary

The Star

POPULAR phrases such as “man cave,” “bucket list” and “game-changer” are among the new entries in the 2012 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
“Sexting” — sending sexually explicit messages or images by cellphone — and “f-bomb” — the printable euphemism for a four-letter curse word — also made the list.

Merriam-Webster said in Tuesday’s release that the list offers a revealing look at the colourful language English speakers have adopted over the years.
“Some of the new words this year provide colourful images,” Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said in a statement. “They show that English-speakers can be very creative as they describe the world around them.”

A sampling of some of the new words:

  •  aha moment: n. (1939); a moment of sudden realisation, inspiration, insight, recognition or comprehension
  • bucket list: n. (2006); a list of things one wants to do before dying
  • energy drink: n. (1904); a usually carbonated beverage that typically contains caffeine and other ingredients intended to increase the drinker’s energy
  • f-bomb: n. (1988); the four-letter  word, used metaphorically or as a euphemism
  • game-changer: n. (1963); a newly introduced element or factor that changes a situation or activity in a significant way
  • gassed: adj. (1919); spent, exhausted
  • man cave: n. (1992); a room or space designed according to the taste of the man of the house for his hobbies and leisure activities
  • sexting: n. (2007); the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cellphone.


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