THE ‘complicated and challenging’ society in which we find ourselves facing ever more obstacles in the shadow of the pandemic, has influenced many of the hundreds of new words and initialisms added to


How many have been added?

The latest update to the online dictionary - which features millions of English definitions, spellings and word origins - sees the addition of 300 new words that the website says “reflects the evolving landscape—and language—of Covid-19, racial reckoning, social struggles, and the unstoppable charge of technological change”.


Words such as…?

Many are pandemic-related. “Covid-19” itself has been added, as has “long Covid” and “long hauler” to describe the enduring nature of the virus for some and the "person who experiences symptoms or health problems that linger”.



Other words related to the pandemic include “sh*tshow" - a person or thing that is a total mess, failure, or disaster - while many now have a “side hustle” - a job or occupation that brings in extra money beyond one's regular job.


But it’s not just the virus?

The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has also influenced many of the words added, including the initialisms DEI, for “diversity, equity and inclusion”, and JEDI, for “justice, equity, diversity and inclusion”.



The site has given a new definition for “minoritise" to distinguish it from “marginalise”, saying: “A person or group that has been marginalised (‘placed in a position of little or no importance, influence, or power’) can also be minoritised. That is, more powerful, dominant groups or people can assign or enforce minority status to less powerful ones’.”



It’s not all heavy-duty. has also added some lighter words, including “oof”, as “an exclamation used to sympathise with someone else’s pain or dismay”; “blamestorm”, the process of assigning blame for a negative outcome or situation”, “silver fox”, to describe “an attractive older person with grey or silver hair, especially a man” and “zaddy” - “an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident”.


And we are all more hi-tech?

It’s the way of the world and it shows in our words. Two new tech terms were “inspired by how the pandemic transformed work and school” - asynchronous and synchronous, with the former defined as “occurring or able to be completed independently according to a person’s own self-paced schedule”and the latter “occurring in real time, as with participants logged in at an appointed time for a live lecture”.


The words reflect our times?

John Kelly,'s managing director, said: “The latest update to our dictionary continues to mirror the world around us…it’s a complicated and challenging society we live in and language changes to help us grapple with it."


So, in closing…“Yeet!”

Yeet is another new addition - “an exclamation of enthusiasm, approval, triumph, pleasure or joy”.