Dictionary.com is the go-to website for many internet users in search of English definitions, synonyms, word origins, slang phrases, idioms, abbreviations, and much more.
2019 has been a busy year for the site so far with over 300 new definitions being added thanks to an increase in online slang and a rise in social and political debate on social media. Some may moan about ‘identity culture’ causing devision, however many more find the new language created around gender and sexuality to be empowering and inclusive. One such word added to Dictionary.com is ‘aromantic’, meaning: “a person who is free from romantic attraction to anyone or free from the desire for romantic love.” For those who would identify as ‘aromantic’ this addition to the dictionary is a validating and positive experience.
We have chosen a selection of our favourite additions below, but visit the dictionary website for the full list of new and popular words and phrases for 2019.
Afrofuturism was originally coined in 1993 by author and critic Mark Dery in his essay ‘Black to the Future’ but has had a resurgence in popularity thanks to the epic Marvel movie Black Panther. It refers to the cultural movement expressed through art, cinema, theatre, and fashion “that uses the frame of science fiction and fantasy to reimagine the history of the African diaspora and to invoke a vision of a technically advanced and generally hopeful future in which black people thrive.”
Toxic Masculinity is a controversial phrase as it is often misunderstood. The phrase does not accuse masculinity of being inherently toxic but does seek to shine a light on the type of masculinity that is oppressive and dangerous for all genders. The phrase intentionally uses the word ‘toxic’ to distinguish between an individual’s concept of their own masculinity and the socially-ascribed norms that try to box men in to one specific type of ‘manliness’. The definition defines toxic masculinity as “a cultural concept of manliness that glorifies stoicism, strength, virility, and dominance, and that is socially maladaptive or harmful to mental health”
Shitposting is, very simply, a form of online trolling where someone “posts off-topic, false, or offensive contributions to an online forum with the intent to derail the discussions or provoke other participants.”
It may seem a little vulgar but if you have ever seen shitposting in person you will realise it is a perfect description of what is essentially a shitty post.
Thirst Trap is a phrase used on social media to describe a post, in particular a selfie, intended to gain sexual attention or positive feedback. It started as a purely sexual definition and soon evolved into any post meant specifically to attract positive attention, such as cute animals.
Womp Womp is a great way of ending a Dad Joke (another addition to Dictionary.com this year). The cheeky phrase is used to dismiss or mock someone’s failure or loss and was first recorded in 2005. The slang phrase is meant to imitate a trombone noise just like we may hear on a TV game show.