Merriam-Webster officially gives 'catfish' a new definition

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Image Credit: MTV

Max and Nev are changing the world, one fake profile at a time. And now their work is more legitimate than ever. Why? Because the Merriam-Webster dictionary says so.

A catfish is no longer just “a type of fish that has a large head and long thin parts that look like a cat’s whiskers around its mouth.” According to Merriam-Webster, there’s another definition for the word, one that “refers to a person who sets up a false social networking profile for deceptive purposes.”

More specifically, in announcing its new dictionary words for 2014, Merriam-Webster called out Max and Nev’s work as part of the reason for the change: “‘Catfish’ was popularized by the documentary and television series of the same name and by last year’s strange story of football player Manti Te’o’s nonexistent girlfriend.” And just like that, these two have¬†officially made it. The only bad news is that Max and Nev will forever have to share the spotlight with Manti Teo’s imaginary lady. If only they’d gotten that whole mess on camera, right?

Other new words just added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary include “big data,” “crowdfunding,” “fracking,” “freegan,” “gamification,” “hashtag,” “pho,” “poutine,” “selfie,” “social networking,” “steampunk,” “turducken,” “tweep,” and “Yooper.” Two thoughts: How was “social networking” not already in the dictionary? And what is Yooper? (Spoiler: It’s “a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.”¬†The more you know!)

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