Words added to the dictionary last year:
“Baller” received a new definition this year, thanks to Merriam-Webster. As a new, informal slang term, “baller” describes something “excellent, exciting, or extraordinary,” especially relating to a lavish lifestyle, as in, “It was clear from his frequent trips on his private jet that the actor lived a baller lifestyle.” “Baller” was first recorded with this use in 2003, but its oldest usage, which denotes an athlete that plays a sport involving a ball, has been around since 1586.
The word “cringe” is nothing new; it has been around since the 13th century (as a verb) and describes an act of recoiling, usually out of distaste or fear. The new dictionary entry of “cringe” in 2022, however, is a slang term synonymous with embarrassment or awkwardness, as in, “That first kiss scene was so cringe!”
This lovely term is actually from 1874 but finally got its big break nearly 150 years later. A “dawn chorus” is exactly what it sounds like — wild birds singing in unison around sunrise, especially during the spring and summer.
According to the dictionary, “Galentine’s Day” is a holiday celebrated annually on February 13. The day before Valentine’s Day has become a time to celebrate friendships, especially among women — “gals.” The word was likely coined in February 2010 on the American sitcom Parks and Recreation in an episode called “Galentine’s Day.”