Language is an evolving ball that keeps on changing. The English language constantly has words coined and flipped, or completely invented which are added to the dictionary. Every generation has its most commonly used words of which end up being included in the dictionary. What words can you think of that did not exist 10 years ago, but today are part of our daily life? This just makes me think that the English language is truly a flexible and convenient language.
Have you ever wondered how words are added to a dictionary? The answer is simple. If a word is used frequently, then it will most likely be added to the dictionary. Language editors are constantly in search for new words and phrases, and when a new word or phrase is found, they would search for the correct meaning and decide whether to add it or not by taking into cognizance whether users would look it up in a dictionary.
With that said, not every widely used word would be added into the dictionary. Language editors would study if people would use this word in the future or is it just a phase in society. For instance, would people 500 years from now use certain words that are being used in today’s world? They also consider whether this word will fill in a gap in the language.
This takes us to another question - who has the authority to add a word into the dictionary? Chances are, the more famous and the more known you are, the greater the chances of your word being added into a dictionary. Writers and even politicians have had their words added in the dictionary in the past. William Shakespeare is a perfect example, who has listed many words in the dictionary. Dr. Suess invented the word “nerd”, and now not only is it in the dictionary but it’s also widely used till today. Abraham Lincoln created the word neologize and it is in the English Dictionary. Even the word “blog” is a newly invented word, and it is what you are reading now; a blog.
Other newly coined words include:
With that said, can you imagine seeing the word “emoji” one day in the dictionary? Or even the words “Brexit” or “staycation” or “hashtag”? These are all words we all use on a daily basis nowadays, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw them in the dictionary tomorrow.
Marketing Intern at Pomegranate Institute