Centuries-old dictionary adds ‘amazeballs,’ ‘verbal diarrhea’

Collins Dictionary launched a crowdsourcing initiative in July; here are the results thus far.


Adding new and often ridiculous words to dictionaries is almost as popular as using zombies to highlight crisis preparedness.

Every quarter, for example, Oxford dictionaries refreshes its database, while Merriam-Webster adds a new batch annually.

In July, the 200-year-old Collins Dictionary, an imprint of HarperCollins UK, got in on the action, unveiling a campaign in which it crowdsourced new words. Editors at Collins would vet the entries and select a batch for inclusion to its online and possibly print dictionary.

“We already have our system for logging new words,” Alex Brown, head of digital at Collins, told PR Daily in July. “The idea was wouldn’t it be interesting to open up the whole previously closed process.”

Two months and more than 4,400 submissions later, Collins has inducted 86 new terms, from “amazeballs” to “verbal diarrhea.” The fresh bath will appear in the online version of the dictionary with the name of the person who submitted it.

Here is a sampling of Collins’ new inductees, along with their definitions:

Amazeballs – an expression of enthusiastic approval.

Bashtag – (on the Twitter website) a hashtaÉ¡ that is used for critical and abusive commen.

Bridezilla – a woman whose behavior in planning the details of her wedding is regarded as intolerable.

Facebook – a popular social networking website; to search for (a person’s profile) on the Facebook website; to use the Facebook website.

Frenemy – a supposed friend who behaves in a treacherous manner; a person who is considered as both a friend and a rival.

Hangry – irritable as a result of feeling hungry.

Impactful – having a powerful effect or making a strong impression thoughtful and impactful display of contemporary art.

Photobomb – to intrude into the background of a photograph without the subject’s knowledge.

Totes – totally; completely; entirely.

Verbal diarrhea – a tendency to speak at excessive length.

To see all of the entries, plus the people who submitted them, visit the Collins Dictionary blog.

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