‘Mom Jeans’ and ‘Ghosting’ Among New Terms Added to Dictionary.com

Taylor Hill/Getty Images
Taylor Hill/Getty Images / Taylor Hill/Getty Images

You searched, and they noticed: The internet’s most popular English-language dictionary is adding more than 300 new words and terms, including “mom jeans,” “lumbersexual,” and “manspread.” The latest additions were selected on the basis of cultural relevance and search volume, which means that somewhere out there, people are apparently confused about the term “athleisure.”

Dictionary.com CEO Liz McMillan says her site helps users stay current and fluent in a fast-evolving language. “Many of the new word additions are tied to larger cultural conversations, from current political events to slang,” she said in a press statement.

And indeed, some trends are clear in the dictionary’s newest class, with clusters of terms relating to fashion, gender identity, media, civil rights, and public health, as well as the strange ways technology has changed us. (“Al desko,” we have just learned, is the slang term for staying at your desk to work while eating lunch. Sigh.)

Logophiles and copy editors, take note: Unlike the Associated Press, the online dictionary includes an accent in the word "Pokémon."

Here’s a mini-sampler of some of the website’s diverse, and occasionally dismaying, new offerings:

athleisure: a style of clothing inspired by athletic apparel but also worn as casual, everyday wear.

butthurt: mental distress or irritation caused by an overreaction to a perceived personal slight.

deso: designated driver.

free-range parenting: a style of child rearing in which parents allow their children to move about without constant adult supervision, aimed at instilling independence and self-reliance.

ghosting: the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship.

health goth: a fitness enthusiast who is part of the goth subculture.

hot take: a superficially researched and hastily written journalistic piece, online post, etc. that presents opinions as facts and is often moralistic.

intersectionality: the theory that the overlap of various social identities, such as race, gender, sexuality, and class, contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual.

lamestream: noting or relating to traditional print and broadcast media, when regarded as lacking the fairness, creativity, etc., of independent online news sources.

long-form: noting or relating to types of print or visual media content characterized by in-depth, lengthy narratives.

lumbersexual: a man whose style of dress and appearance is reminiscent of the ruggedly masculine stereotype of the lumberjack.

manspread: to sit with one's legs far apart, taking up too much space on a seat shared with other people.

mom jeans: unstylish women’s jeans.

NBD: acronym for no big deal.

panromantic: noting or relating to a person who is romantically attracted to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Pokémon: a media franchise including video games, animated television series, movies, card games, etc. that depict a fictional class of pet monsters and their trainers.

presstitute: a journalist or media source whose news coverage is considered to be inappropriately influenced by business interests, political motives, etc.

totes: totally.

train wreck: a person who has experienced a personal failure, disaster, etc.

ze: occasionally used with a singular indefinite pronoun or singular noun antecedent in place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she.

Zika virus: a chiefly mosquito-borne virus of the genus Flavivirus that causes Zika, a mild illness.

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