Last Call: the dictionary has, at last, recognized the tallboy. What food word should be next?

Photo: Ja’Crispy (iStock)
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

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

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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.

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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?

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About the author

Allison Robicelli

Allison Robicelli is the staff writer for The Takeout, a former professional baker, the host of The Robicelli Argument Clinic Podcast, and a nascent birding enthusiast.