Every Word Coined the Year You Were Born
Language is constantly evolving, and the dictionary is right on top of that. Even better, Merriam-Webster has created Time Traveler, which can tell you the exact year certain words first appeared in print. Here's a sampling of the words introduced every year between 1960 and 2010, as high as Time Traveler goes for now.
So many words were first used in 1960 that it seems more practical if we just list the highlights (to see all the words that were new in 1960 or for any year, click on the heading for that year, and you'll be taken to Time Traveler's listing). It was a year of electricity (for both powering things in your home and on the dance floor), new hairstyles, and more types of dogs bred with a poodle.
- AAA battery
- Dufus (also spelled "doofus")
- Junk food
1961 brought us more batteries and a term for the busiest shopping day of the year.
- AA battery
- Affirmative Action
- Black Friday
- Down Syndrome
- Object code
In 1963, the word 'disco' was coined to describe the music played in discotheques.
- Space walk
- Source code
The first use of hippie in a 1960's counter cultural/flower child sense was in a series of articles on Haight-Ashbury that began running in the San Francisco Examiner in September 1965. The word "grunge"—referring to the type of music—also came to be this year.
- Empty-nest syndrome
Big hairstyles got their name in 1966. The annoying red bumps that occasionally pop up on your face were also given a name.
- Head Shop
- Hedge Fund
Don't worry, you're not a dork if you do aerobics. But, in 1967, people did have another way to ridicule nerds.
- Flower child
- Estrogen replacement therapy
No, a word for a chilly bird wasn't coined this year. Cold duck actually refers to a beverage consisting of a blend of sparkling burgundy and champagne
- Cold duck
- Delete key
- Limousine liberal
- Video vérité