“Snowflake” is now officially an insult.
Hurled at everyone from millennials to liberals in recent years, the word has been given additional meanings by Merriam-Webster to include disparaging definitions.
Now, in addition to literally referring to a snow crystal, the word can be used to describe both “someone regarded or treated as unique or special," or worse, “someone who is overly sensitive.”
It’s one of the 640 new words or old words given new meanings that are freshly added to the dictionary.
“Go-cup” — a plastic or paper cup used for taking drinks off-site from a bar or restaurant — is among the new compound terms. Other such terms include “on-brand” (typical of a particular brand, public image or identity) and “screen time” (time spent in front of an electronic device such as a computer or tablet.)
Gender-related terms were a big hit on the list of newbies, with additions like “gender-nonconforming,” or exhibiting behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits that don’t correspond with the traits typically associated with one’s sex. Also added were “top surgery,” a type of gender confirmation surgery in which a person’s breasts are removed or augmented to match their gender identity, and “bottom surgery,” when a person’s genitalia are altered to match their gender identity.
John Legend, Whoopi Goldberg and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be happy to know that “EGOT" — a distinction they all hold — is now recognized by Merriam-Webster. As those in the entertainment world and their fans already know, EGOT is an acronym that stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony, and refers to those that have won all four.
Another new addition is “buzzy,” characterized by a lot of excited talk or attention around a particular topic. “Purple” is no longer just a color — it can now refer to geographical areas where voters are split between Democrats and Republicans.