Every language grows and changes as people create new words. According to Miriam-Webster Dictionary, English officially added many new words in 2012, and CISL is taking a look at 15 of them today. How many of these have you heard before?


These definitions are from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary.
1. aha moment: a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension. The first known use of the word was 1939, but this year, it officially earned its place in the English dictionary.

2. bucket list: a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying; from the phrase “to kick the bucket” (die). First known use: 2006.

3. cloud computing: the practice of storing regularly used computer data on multiple servers that can be accessed through the Internet. First known use: 2006.

4. copernicium: a short-lived artificially produced radioactive element that has 112 protons. New Latin, from Copernicus. First Known Use: 2009.

5. earworm: a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind. First known use: 1802 (but used for the first definition of “earworm” which is a bug that ate corn.

6. energy drink: a usually carbonated beverage that typically contains caffeine and other ingredients (as taurine and ginseng) intended to increase the drinker’s energy. First know use: 1904.

7. f-bomb: another word for the curse word that begins with “f”. First known use: 1988.

8. game changer: a newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way. First known use: 1993.

9. gassed: slang for “drunk.” First known use: 1919.

10. gastropub: a pub, bar, or tavern that offers meals of high quality. First known use: 1996.

11. man cave: a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities. First known use: 1992.

12. mash-up: something created by combining elements from two or more sources, such as a piece of music created by digitally overlaying an instrumental track with a vocal track from a different recording; a movie or video having characters or situations from other sources; a Web service or application that integrates data and functionalities from various online sources. First known use: 1859.

13. sexting: the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone. A blend of “sex” and “texting.” First known use: 2007.

14. systemic risk: the risk that the failure of one financial institution (as a bank) could cause other interconnected institutions to fail and harm the economy as a whole. First known use: 1982.

15. underwater: having, relating to, or being a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth. First known use: 1627.