IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Merriam-Webster dictionary just added 455 new words — including dad bod

Babywearing and fourth trimester also made it in the book.
/ Source: TODAY

The Merriam-Webster dictionary just got thicker. On Wednesday, it was announced that 455 new words and definitions have been added, including dad bod.

Babywearing and fourth trimester — the 12-week period following the birth of a newborn — also now have a place in the iconic book.

What took so long? Dad bod has been floating around since 2003. According to Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski, they need written evidence that a word or term has staying power. Being popular on TikTok isn’t going cut it.

“If a word is used frequently in publications such as The New York Times or The Atlantic, then it goes into the dictionary,” Sokolowski told TODAY Parents. “We need to see it appear in carefully edited prose over a period of time— and not just in memes and on social media.”

Sokolowski noted that the term “screen time” didn’t make it into the dictionary until April 2019.

“Compound words — two words together — often don’t get in to the dictionary because you can sort of figure it out. Take orange juice, it’s the juice of an orange,” Sokolowski said. “But screen time is so specific in terms of parenting laws that we had to put it in. We’re looking for long-term use and meaningful use.”

Other brand new adds in the Merriam-Webster dictionary include amirite, which is informally used in writing for “am I right,” the abbreviation TBH, short for “to be honest,” and air fryer. Fluffernutter, a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow crème, vaccine passport and long COVID also made the cut.

“Slang dictionaries are great and they serve an important function,” Sokolowski explained. “But Merriam-Webster has to be more researched. We need to see so much evidence of a word’s use and so by the time it's entered, it might feel a little stale."

Related Video: