Merriam-Webster’s New Words for 2012: How Many Do You Know?

by Barbara Behan

The news about Merriam-Webster’s new words for 2012 was all over the Twitterverse yesterday.  I wanted to see the complete list, but the Huffington Post tells us the company — which leads the dictionary market — won’t reveal them all.

“Let [our competitors] find their own words,” company president John Morse, perhaps only partly joking.  ” It’s not a cutthroat business, but we like to say it’s a bare knuckles business.”

So, word lovers of the world:  if you don’t have anything to do for the next six weeks, buy the new dictionary and get looking.  Let us know when you find them all.

In the meantime, here’s a short list.

  • Sexting
  • Tipping point
  • Aha moment
  • Earworm
  • Craft beer
  • E-reader
  • Game-changer
  • Gassed (a new slang definition)
  • Geocaching
  • Gastropub
  • Shovel-ready
  • Obesogenic
  • Flexitarian
  • Systemic risk
  • Underwater (a new slang definition)
  • Copernicium

How many are new to you?