Language is constantly evolving as people find ways to talk about the world around them – and dictionaries do their best to keep up, chronicling the words that crossover from casual slang to permanent fixtures in our vocabulary. Merriam-Webster just dropped their list of new words for 2022 and we noticed a few we’re particularly familiar with.
Words about food is a staple for dictionary inductees, since clever cooks are always creating new dishes or adopting non-English-language words for foods into commonplace English parlance. Horchata and air fryer were in the previous batch of new words added to Merriam-Webster’s big book, back in October 2021.
This year’s new words have a particularly veggie-friendly tone – not surprising given the increase in plant-based eating in the English-speaking world. One Cornell University survey conducted in 2022 found 1 in 10 Americans now say they do not eat meat, a historically high number.
Plenty of non-food-related words are now presumably fair for your next game of Scrabble too, including subvariant (as in, of a virus), hoglet (a baby hedgehog), and janky (describing something of poor quality).
Find the complete list of new words for 2022 in this announcement from Merriam-Webster.