It’s official: The Oxford English Dictionary and Merriam Webster have given credence to silly pop culture words which are now etched for all eternity into the English language. We can’t really complain though; that’s how English works. There’s a longstanding joke that goes something like this: “English follows other languages into dark alleys, beats them up, then rummages in their pockets for random bits of grammar and syntax” and it’s not wrong. Perhaps these 25 Silly Pop Culture Words That Shouldn’t Belong In The Dictionary have already made it into your daily vocabulary (we kind of hope not).
“Adorbs” used to be an annoying teenager’s way of shortening the word “Adorable”. Now it has its own entry into the dictionary.
“Cheerer-upper” sounds like something Buddy the Elf would say, but it’s also officially a word in the English Language! A noun meaning someone who cheers you up. It’s cute, it’s sweet, it sounds like something a child who’s just starting to grasp grammar would say.
YOLO (short for You Only Live Once) has been added to the official Oxford English Dictionary. Because apparently they no longer want to be taken more seriously than a teenager who’s about to make a horrible life choice.
Clickbait – a noun meaning a misleading headline for an article or story online, causing you to click on it – is another one we can now keep forever.
A humblebrag is when someone tries to be modest, but is really just drawing attention to how awesome they are. This is very often seen among moms on social media (no judgement, the author is one) and celebrity tweets, such as Chrissy Teigen’s “What does one even wear to a meeting at the Style Network?!”. Let’s all just not, okay?
A neckbeard is literally the part of a man’s beard that grows on his neck. It’s also, now, an insult for the socially inept, nerdy, and physically unappealing. Apparently someone woke up one morning and thought “You know what we need? More insults for men and nerds.”
A Selfie is a picture taken of oneself, usually with a smartphone, usually making stupid faces or hand gestures, and shared via social media. We all knew that but..we kind of all wish we didn’t? Now we can never stop knowing it.
FOMO means “Fear Of Missing Out”, when someone is at home or disconnected from social media. Apparently this has become such a phenomena that we needed a horrible acronym for it that’s made it’s way into everyday conversation, otherwise we might be missing out on knowing people are worried about missing out.
Woke is an adjective, the past tense of “Wake”. In 2016 it’s used to signal awareness of some social injustice, such as the silencing or limiting of free speech that goes against culture. And since “Woke” is past tense, the phrase “Stay Woke” still makes many of us cringe.
The word “Literally” has been around for awhile, and it means “In a literal manner or sense; exactly”. However, it’s been so overused for exaggerated emphasis on something that isn’t literally true, that it now also means what it used to mean, and the exact opposite of that. Confused yet? Yeah, we are too. Also a little angry.
OK, so you might want to avoid adding the words on this list to your vocabulary. However, the words on our 25 unique English words list is a different story entirely. You definitely want to add those to your vocabulary..trust us. Enough banter. On with more silly pop culture words.
Sheeple is another fun new compound word, combining sheep and people, used to indicate people who don’t think or hold opinions outside of the majority, but rather choose to stay with the flock, so to speak.
Are you rolling your eyes yet? Don’t worry, there’s more.