Language is constantly evolving—old words fall out of use while new ones are born and spread like fire. \
Every year, the dictionary must add new words to keep up with our expanding vocabularies, and this year was no exception.
On Twitter, the Merriam-Webster dictionary announced it would be adding 620+ new words to the dictionary for 2019, among them some pretty notable words from internet culture.
Some news. 🚨🎉 We added 620+ new words to the dictionary! 🎉🚨 https://t.co/j8rXQMHX8t— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556025507.0
Well-known terms like "cryptid" and "bottle episode" will both be given a formalized definition.
After years of searching for and collecting evidence, we put 'cryptid' in the dictionary. https://t.co/5pILJr0gHr https://t.co/xmhfZaukgt— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556032757.0
We gave 'bottle episode' a single location on our site. https://t.co/xZJuxtLIpq https://t.co/tSn2HA1Ie1— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556029956.0
But perhaps the most shocking addition to the dictionary was the word "stan."
'Stan' has been added as both a noun and a verb. https://t.co/Dal0N79sAU https://t.co/q1kBkKR1rn— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556030801.0
Other words which became popular online also made the cut:
You thought we didn't enter 'clapback' in the dictionary... https://t.co/639OcDUo5m https://t.co/QhbXzpaVWs— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556127068.0
'Swole' is now among the words making the dictionary bigger and stronger. https://t.co/NRPkZya8PE https://t.co/I82bi7KnIW— Merriam-Webster (@Merriam-Webster) 1556027714.0
But "stan" definitely seemed to grab people's attention as an unlikely candidate for a new word.
Gotta stan all the buzzy new words added to the dictionary. 🤗 https://t.co/qfeviSXC6Q— Margaret Larson (@Margaret Larson) 1556122515.0
There were still some people who needed an explanation as to what exactly it meant.
@_MargaretLarson I still have no idea how to use that word or why it has come into existence— Kate Jackson (@Kate Jackson) 1556122912.0
@KateBJackson @_MargaretLarson You ever heard Eminem’s song, “Stan”? About an overzealous fan who was so obsessed w… https://t.co/A6RL8CftAF— Terry Hollimon (T-Holla) (@Terry Hollimon (T-Holla)) 1556125919.0
@terryhollimon @_MargaretLarson No. That’s terrible. So Stan means being obsessive?— Kate Jackson (@Kate Jackson) 1556126707.0
@KateBJackson @_MargaretLarson 🤷🏾♂️ Pretty much. Stan=Fan “This is Stan. Your biggest fan.”— Terry Hollimon (T-Holla) (@Terry Hollimon (T-Holla)) 1556126788.0
It turns out "Stan" started with the Eminem song, and his name is a portmanteau of "staulker" and "fan."
Eminem - Stan (Short Version) ft. Didowww.youtube.com
@MerriamWebster And yet, there is no mention that the root definition is "stalker/fan"— Jessica Fox (Redtailfoxx Cosplay) (@Jessica Fox (Redtailfoxx Cosplay)) 1556146578.0
@ETCanada @MerriamWebster Stalker + Fan = Stan— TMC 🏁 (@TMC 🏁) 1556156247.0
@ETCanada @MerriamWebster I literally had to google “what does Stan mean” to understand it! Lol— BlondeEinstein 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 (@BlondeEinstein 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦) 1556128045.0
There were some people on Twitter who didn't think "stan" deserved to be a new word.
@MerriamWebster Did we *really* need stan added? So if I like Laurel and Hardy or one of St Louis’ greatest basebal… https://t.co/mFXF5zEbjd— Garth Moore (@Garth Moore) 1556192510.0
@MerriamWebster Shoulda left it in urban dictionary— Jeff Mowdy (@Jeff Mowdy) 1556140315.0
@MerriamWebster I don’t stan this shit— BTS COME BACK TO TEXAS💜💜 (@BTS COME BACK TO TEXAS💜💜) 1556139187.0
Others, however, were pretty pumped to see the dictionary reflect their actual use of language!
@RexoDawg @SpikeTheLucario @EPM1011 @MerriamWebster we’ve decided to stan @MerriamWebster— crikey bridgetirwini (@crikey bridgetirwini) 1556197704.0
@hollss_____ @MerriamWebster we stan the dictionary!!— miss 🦋 🥖 (@miss 🦋 🥖) 1556162272.0
The dictionary will continue to grow and change as we continue to use language differently every day.
Two new sports words got added to the Merriam-Webster's dictionary. One of them is "garbage time."… https://t.co/ndzOEzXFpC— USA TODAY (@USA TODAY) 1556056862.0
We stan a legend: Merriam-Webster!