15 Slang Words You Didn’t Know Were in the Dictionary
English is an ever-evolving language, so as words make their way into the mainstream, they also make it into the dictionary. Here are some surprising slang terms that with their recent addition to the dictionary are now, like, totally legit.
There's already a noun for the adjective fabulous: the tongue-tying "fabulousness." But fabulosity goes beyond that to embody a state of being fabulous that's totally in step with modern times. This word, added last month, is not just about glamour: Fabulosity encompasses loving yourself, having style, and exuding charisma. For example, "Her friends encouraged her to get in touch with her inner fabulosity." Check out these fun facts you never knew about the dictionary in general.
Apparently, words don't even have to be words anymore to make it into the dictionary—this one even has punctuation! No idea what it means? We'll give you a clue: Moby Dick, War and Peace, and most articles in the New Yorker could merit a TL;DR. Still not sure? It's short for "too long; didn't read." But now, the abbreviation has gone beyond its original usage to become a noun or adjective meaning summary information: "The TL;DR of the new policy is that…" or "The TL;DR video gives the basic points of the Constitution." TL;DR is one of 16 text abbreviations everyone should know by now.
Pronounced with a soft "g"—so not "boogy" or "boozy" but "boojy"—this derogatory term for the middle class is short for bourgeois. It's used condescendingly to refer to those overly concerned with wealth and possessions. Interestingly, Merriam-Webster notes this term goes back to the 1960s, but has just recently made it into the dictionary. Use it as an adjective: "I don't go to that bar anymore because it's too bougie" or as a noun: "I don't go to that bar anymore because it's full of bougies."
Any woman can recognize the mansplaining phenomena: The male tendency to talk condescendingly to a woman about things that she already knows well but that he likely doesn't. ("He mansplained to me how to do my job.") Some may say the word is now being overused, making it one of those buzzwords people love to hate. But its contribution to language can be seen in the rash of other "splaining words" that are applicable to all sorts of situations: whitesplaining, straight-splaining, left-splaining, and even potluck-splaining. Find out the slang words from 2019 that we're sick of.
Words can become abbreviations, and sometimes, abbreviations can become words. Baseball fans will know "ribbie" as the phonetic pronunciation of the term RBI, or runs batted in. (For the sports illiterate, an RBI is a credit a batter gets for making a play that allows a runner to score.) Instead of pronouncing the letters, the stat is commonly pronounced as a word, "ribbie," now recognized in its own right.
Interestingly, did you know that "acronym" only refers to an abbreviation that's pronounced as a word, such as UNICEF or POTUS? And did you also know that some acronyms lose their uppercase abbreviation status to become just plain old words, such as radar (radio detection and ranging), scuba (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus), and laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation)? "Ribbie," though, is not exactly this: It belongs to the category of words that are formed "from spelling out or rendering pronounceable their initials," according to Merriam-Webster, such as emcee. Here are some more words you didn't know were acronyms.
This is an easy one, and probably one of the slang terms most people have used. Fave is short for favorite, and the truncation traces all the way back to 1938, according to Merriam-Webster—yet the dictionary only recently added it. Merriam-Webster also allows for an alternate spelling without the ending "e," so "fav," although this is highly unusual. Most people would use it in a sentence like this: "My fave word in the dictionary has to be 'fave.'" It may even be one of the overused words you should stop saying ASAP.