'F-bomb' gets Merriam-Webster stamp of approval

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Get ready to update your college papers and work emails — “F-bomb” is now Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary official.

The dictionary giant teased its list of new additions (usually about 100 a year) and “F-bomb” made the cut. Who can you thank? Kory Stamper, an associate editor for Merriam-Webster, said the company traced the word back to 1988, when New York Mets catcher Gary Carter mentioned in an interview that he had given them up. Recent political discourse had also brought the term mainstream, with Dick Cheney dropping an “F-bomb” on the Senate floor in 2004, and Vice President Joe Biden trotting it out in 2010. “It’s a word that is very visually evocative,” Stamper told The AP. “It’s not just the F-word. It’s F-bomb. You know that it’s going to cause a lot of consternation and possible damage.”

Other additions this year include “sexting,” “flexitarian,” “obesogenic,” “energy drink,” “life coach,” “man cave,” “brain cramp,” and “bucket list.” The Oprah-inspired “aha moment” made the cut, as did the Stephen King-popularized “earworm.” Thank goodness earworm is now a “real” word. Otherwise, I would have no way to describe what happens when you accidentally listened to Taylor Swift’s new song 35 times last night.

Closer to the end of the year, Merriam-Webster will announce its defining Word of the Year. Keep an eye out for not-yet-official Twitter term “hashtag.” It could be this year’s Frindle.

Read more:
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PopWatch Dictionary: Doucheboat

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