Something I had never really thought about until this past week: how do words qualify to be in the dictionary? Last Friday I learned, while researching the etymology of avocados, that after the California Avocado Association had decided on the former-alligator pear’s new name they “called the dictionary” to alert them of the change. This past Tuesday, Merriam-Webster announced that it had added 530 new words to the dictionary, which includes nine new food terms:
Chana: a dish made from chickpeas
Cidery: a place where cider is produced
Concasse: food that has been roughly chopped
Halloumi: a white, brine-cured Cypriot cheese usually made from a mixture of sheep and goat milk
Matcha: a green powder made from ground green tea leaves that is used as to make tea and other beverages and as a flavoring agent
Meadery: a place where mead is produced
Quaffer: one who quaffs a beverage
Royal Icing: a type of icing composed of sugar, egg whites, and sometimes flavoring or coloring that dries to a hard glaze and is used for decorating baked goods
Tallboy: a tall cylindrical can for beverages (such as beer) usually measuring 16 fluid ounces
What I’m curious about: How did “quaffer,” which, according to Merriam-Webster, had its first known usage in 1520, only manage to get into the dictionary on the same day as fabulosity, vacay, and “sesh”? And I put “sesh” in quotes because I absolutely refuse to acknowledge that as an actual word, and am livid with the people at Merriam-Webster for legitimizing it. They’re not allowed to add “sesh” unless they’re willing to add “douchebro” along with it.
So, etymology nerds: can you enlighten me on this? Do you have thoughts on any words—food related or otherwise—that deserve to be legitimized?