New words added to dictionary, some influenced by COVID

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Merriam-Webster's dictionary has just added 520 new words and definitions

(WYTV) – Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has just added 520 new words and definitions. They reflect how much the English language keeps growing and changing.

Hard pass
This means a firm refusal or rejection of something. It first appeared online in 2014 and made the rounds on social media.

Flex
When you flex, it means you’re bragging about something odd or questionable. Based on internet slang, it’s an act of bragging or showing off.

Long-hauler
The coronavirus has certainly changed our language. Merriam-Webster defines the phrase as “a person who experiences one or more long-term effects after recovering from any serious illness, but especially COVID-19.”

Pod
As in, “Who’s your pod?” It’s defined as “a usually small group of people, such as family members, friends, co-workers or classmates, who regularly are together but with few or no others so they don’t catch COVID.”

Bubble
This has a new meaning — it’s where sports teams stay isolated from the public during a series of scheduled games so they don’t pick up the virus. “Stay in the hotel bubble, the stadium bubble.”

Performative
This word has a new meaning, too. It’s something done for show to make a positive impression on someone else, also known as virtue signaling. “I use a reusable bag at the grocery store, so I’m better than you.” “I’ve marched for this cause, for that cause — I’m better than you.”

Decarceration
The opposite of incarceration — you’re released from jail.

Makerspace
Ever take a cooking class at the local community college? Have you joined the scrapbooking club at the community center? Those are makerspaces — communal public workshops.

Sapiosexual
This one’s for nerds. “Sapio” as in “homosapiens.” It’s a sexual or romantic attraction to highly intelligent people.

Jedi
It’s now in the pages of Merriam-Webster with the broad definition for 2021 — “a person who shows extraordinary skill or expertise in a specified field or endeavor.”

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