"Fluffernutter" Is Now Merriam-Webster Official

Air fryer and other food words have earned their spot in the dictionary.

English is known as the hardest language to learn, and I'm sure we don't make it any easier by constantly inventing new words. That being said, word authorities don't just add new words all willy-nilly. For 2021, Merriam-Webster announced that 455 new words and phrases were added to its pages.

I remember a time when my brother insisted "ginormous" was a word and my mom responded that it wasn't in Merriam-Webster's dictionary—therefore, it was not a word. But then Merriam-Webster added it to the dictionary a couple years later. Sorry, mom. There are some words on this year's list that I'm surprised to learn weren't already in the dictionary, but better late than never. The food-related additions include:

  • Fluffernutter
  • Horchata
  • Chicharron
  • Goetta
  • Air fryer
  • Ghost kitchen
  • Curbside pickup/curbside delivery
  • Wiener roast (sounds like a more appropriate way of calling something a sausage fest, but it's not)
  • Dine-in
  • How were "dine-in" and "horchata" not already included? I'm sure the pandemic increased the use of the term "dine-in," but it's not like people were never asked whether they'd be doing dine-in or takeout before. As for horchata, yes, I know it's Spanish, but the drink has grown beyond its traditional use and become a flavor for coffee and alcoholic beverages. I definitely would have thought horchata earned its spot in the dictionary a long time ago.

    Also, I apologize if I've been living under a rock, but who is commonly using the word "fluffernutter"? Maybe it's my dislike of most things marshmallow, but I genuinely had no idea there was a word for a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich. Plus, it just sounds like such a ridiculously fake word that I can't take it seriously. Who knows what food words might get added next year, though? Any predictions?